ETSUKO KATO

Keisho

EXHIBITION ON VIEW: JAN 9 - FEB 20

Keisho in Japanese has many meanings. I chose 3 of those meanings represented with Chinese characters, Keisho (継承) means inheritance. Inheriting something from a previous generation. Keisho (形象) means shape. To give shape to concepts that form in the mind, or things that are captured by feelings or sensations. Keisho(警鐘) means warning. To notify and give heed of danger

 

I remember when I visited the damaged Tohoku area for the first time in 2012, I was under the impression that I was standing in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Okinawa, Tokyo, or any given burned field in wartime Japan. A few years later, that experience was why I started to research my family history during the war for the 75th commemoration of the war in 2020.

Keisho in Japanese has many meanings. I have chosen 3 of those meanings represented with Kanji (Chinese characters). The first keisho (継承) means inheritance. Inheriting something from a previous generation. The second keisho (形象) means shape. To give shape to concepts that form in the mind, or things that are captured by feelings or sensations. The last keisho (警鐘) means warning. To notify and give heed of danger.

During the last few years, I have been researching my family history during World War II for the 75th commemoration of the war. 2020 was an important turning point for the Japanese. Hearing what people actually went through at wartime is a completely different experience than reading about it in any history book. However, the average age of bombing victims and others that experienced the war is over 83, my grandmother is also turned 97 years old. The time is near when they and their memories will be gone. Their experiences are a warning to never repeat history. That is why we must endeavor to keep these experiences and stories for future generations as much as possible.

War, a human caused disaster that takes away the lives of many. War happens again and again, but it can be avoided.

We can learn many things from history and our ancestors. These warnings have been turned to art by my hands. Things that I cannot express with words, I can express through art. When someone sees my art, my hope is it will give them a chance to start thinking, feeling, and to find their own answers. I hope we can do this together as artist and viewer.

  

This is my keisho.
 

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