The Caged series, represents the beginning of my healing as I attempt to free myself from the confines of my mind and cope with the death of my mother, Yumiko. I was born in the Year of the Rooster and my mother often told me I reminded her of a bird; that I ate like a bird and was small like a bird. Hence, birdcages materialize in my art with memories of my mother. Yumiko passed away when I was twenty-three. I still grieve for her at times and think of her often as my healing is a work in progress.
The Caged sculptures are wire nests. They are assemblages of my mother’s being, her womb and motherhood. They hold obsessions with memories of her battle against depression and her death. The Cages are constructed with wire mesh and metal scraps representing the divide and coolness Yumiko exuded when she slipped away into her depression. The downy white feathers speak of the softness and beauty of her spirit while the harsh wires create the tension of her external body. While some of the elements extend beyond the wires exposed, others are hidden and sheltered in the way she lived her life.
These sculptures are filled with the beauty and helplessness I observed in my mother while growing up. She seemed vulnerable in managing her depression and my family was immobilized in helping her. I lovingly fill my nests with objects; feathers, twigs, kokeshi dolls, yarn, fabric, origami balloons, and trinkets I played with as a child. These objects infuse lessons from my mother and the Japanese culture.