Sunday, February 6, 2011
Toshiko Nishikawa: Senbazuru @ The Vilcek Foundation
A trip to the Vilcek Foundation was initiated by my students, who first learned about the Toshiko Nishikawa's exhibition via facebook. I was ecstatic to learn about their desire to immerse themselves into the Japanese culture through their own means, particularly in the arts. The Vilcek Foundation was founded by two immigrant lovers, a biomedical scientist and art historian, who wanted to create opportunities for immigrants like themselves. The Foundation achieves its mission through hosting immigrant artists and performers at their gallery space in NYC, such as Toshiko Nishikawa.
Senbazuru, a interactive installation by Toshiko Nishikawa, offered viewers to see oneself in 1,000 different ways (senbazuru is Japanese for "1,000 origami cranes" and refers to a prayer for others' health and happiness). Each of the 1,000 orbs, which are also hand-painted by the artist, is connected to those around it, and by peering into the concave mirror contained within each orb, visitors not only see themselves, but become linked to those standing nearby. As a viewer, the idea of interconnectedness on a global level truly unveils as I see my students, who are from the South Bronx, place themselves in the perspective of those surrounding them, as well as the artist.