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CHIRASHI stories from the garden

CHIRASHI stories from the garden was printed, assembled, & hand bound in an edition of 250, in 1997.

This bookwork was dedicated to the spirited woman who inspired its writing, my grandmother Asayo Murakami. What began as garden poems, grew to interweave the threads of our relationship. This story speaks about the difficulties and the pleasures of our sharing across generations and the stages of understanding the reality of our speaking different languages (her Japanese and I English). It’s a book of poems and stories that speak about the “scattered garden”. A project that I wanted to complete as a gift for her, during her 99th year — or as she use to tell me, what would be considered in Japan as her 100th year.

Each type of paper used in this bookwork was chosen for a particular task or to represent a thread of the telling. For example, the speckled pages carry bits of actual letters (along with translations) that I wrote to her over the time of working on this project. How the text is read through the translucent pages is a crucial part of the telling. Not only read in one direction, but also how the page is understood once the translucent page is turned and lays over another page. It’s very much about relationships. In this bookwork, as in much of the work that I do, the touching, interweaving aspects of story are built into the details, materials, and relationships within the piece — some more obvious than others.

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