Each day the news depicts the struggle between the human desire for comfort and the cost to our planet. This piece is a bamboo abacus, an ancient counting tool used mostly in Asia – the precursor to the calculator and computer. Each of the 65 handblown glass beads has a newspaper headline illuminating global warming. The headlines were gathered over the past year from different newspapers and periodicals from all over the world. The abacus is set to the number of people on the planet the day I completed it on February 12, 2014 -- 7 billion, 212 million, 826 thousand, 445 people.
Glass and Bamboo
5' x 2' x 6"
Contemplative pieces that suspend a sunken and elongated layer of melted colors.
8" x 5"
For much of my life, I have struggled with the concept of family. Who is family to me? And who gets to decide: Me? Society? Tradition?
Most of my family lives halfway around the world in Japan. Their language and customs are difficult to learn and master. I fear they will never see me as a full family member.
I am gay. That affects who wants to claim me as a family member.
And now, in my home, I find myself in a family with children who are not my own, but possibly mine.
My ancestors also struggled with the question of who is family.
My mom, born in Japan out of wedlock, was considered a disgrace and was rejected by her father’s family.
Neighborhood kids in St. Louis teased my father that his stepmother was not his real mother, forever altering his connection to her.
My great aunt disowned my father and his brother when they each divorced their wives simultaneously. These wives became the caregivers for my great aunt until she died.
When I was in college over 25 years ago, I recorded interviews with my family members to get their perspectives on how events affected family relationships and dynamics.
This installation contemplates the wounds of exclusion and difference, accompanied by clips from these interviews with my family, all of whom but one are now deceased.
20" to 28" x 6.5" each
Completely enclosed stretched and contorted lines of transparent color.
This piece was created for the "Think Before You Pink" exhibition benefiting Breast Cancer Action (BCA). BCA's Think Before You Pink campaign was launched in 2002 in response to the growing concern about the overwhelming number of pink ribbon products and promotions on the market sold to advance the breast cancer cause.
The list of pink ribbon products grows every year. From candy to clothing to automobiles, thousands of companies are pinning pink ribbons on their products in an attempt to boost their image and their profits by connecting themselves to a good cause.
Playful m&m's defying gravity.
13" x 9"
13" x 9"
Marriage as an act of civil disobedience sparked “Sacred Illusions,” two hand blown glass ten-inch wedding bands atop a 36-inch satin hot pink ring pillow. On one band is inscribed, “Marriage is between a man and a woman of the same race, religion, status, ability,” and on the other band is an excerpt of a poem by Rumi, “what was said to the rose that made it open was said to me here in my chest.”
"Sacred Illusions" was inspired by the unexpected opening of marriage to lesbian and gay couples in San Francisco in 2004. While those marriages were later invalidated by the courts, the power of love that sparked those unrecognized weddings eventually led to the California Supreme Court ruling that denying lesbian and gay couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. California has now become the second state in the United States to extend marriage rights to lesbian and gay couples.
Glass, Satin, Ribbon
36" x 36" x 9"
Complicated construction on an unattached glass base allowing for infinite positioning.