Port of Dream a video work created during the Koganecho Art Bazaar Residency is part of the exhibition Invisible Threads: Life Saving Sugihara Visas and the Journey to Vancouver at Vancouver's Maritime Museum April 10-July 1 in the TK Gallery. For more information on the exhibit please visit www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/exhibit/invisible-threads. The exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of Vancouver and Yokohama's sister city relationship and tells the story of the thousands of Jewish refugees who fled from occupied Europe during World War II and traveled to Japan using transit visas issued by Chiune Sugihara, Japanese Vice-Consul in Lithuania.
Port of Dream is a video work that time travels across the Pacific Ocean to reflect the experiences of a family affected by the displacement of migration. The video begins with an image of a window to an abandoned, childhood house in Yokohama belonging to my mother. The traces of architecture slide away and reveal black and white family photographs dating from the 1950s, Super 8mm home video footage, and new material shot during my artist residency in Koganecho in 2014. The video leads us through sites of memory as I journey through the material like a ‘tourist’ re-visiting my maternal history for the first time. The Super 8 mm footage was taken in 1975 on my mother’s first visit back to Japan since her immigration to Canada three years earlier. This home video becomes the ‘map’ to which I carefully retrace the steps back to the port of Yokohama and attempts to mirror the same footage only 39 years later. The Hikawa Maru was an ocean liner that shipped many immigrants to Vancouver and Seattle from the port of Yokohama. The same vessel also sent my paternal family ‘back’ to Japan after the release from the Japanese Canadian internment camps in 1946 and brought the family back to Canada in late 1950s.