>New AASRN featured member: Mayu Kanamori

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Image sourced from Mayu’s site: www.mayu.com.au


The new Featured Member on the Asian Australian Studies Research Network site is Mayu Kanamori.

I’ve known about Mayu’s work for quite a few years now, and have had the privilege of seeing The Heart of the Journey (2000). She’s been a fabulous supporter of our research network, and recently allowed us to use her stunning work as feature banners inside our AAI 3 conference site (look beyond the front page) back in 2009.

Her 2007-2008 project, In Repose, has particular interest for me because it manages to intersect issues about heritage sites, cultural identity, and belonging in Australia. Having been to a few of the places on which she focuses In Repose makes it much more meaningful to me, too. Here’s the summary about the project from Mayu’s site:

In Repose is a site-specific collaborative multi art form project with dance, music, visual projection, sound-scapes and installation, inspired by Japanese graves in Australia from the turn of the century.

In Repose is a requiem: a work of kuyo, a Japanese term, which describes an act of ceremonial prayer or offering to respect, honour and calm the spirits of the deceased. Its origins are in Buddhism, and its practice has become a part of the Japanese spiritual culture with or without its religious connection.

This work began as a process in which the Japanese migrant artists attempted to connect to the land in which they chose to live and die. As the project In Repose takes its shape, this connection has extended beyond the landscape at Belgian Gardens Cemetery in Townsville to the Japanese Cemetery in Broome, families of Broome who still bury their members in this cemetery and to the Japanese Cemetery in Thursday Island.

If you ever get the chance to see her work, grab it. You won’t be sorry.

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