Title: Cloud, Smoke, Void (A Monument to Your Absence)
Medium: Acrylic and gold leaf on wood, glass eyeball
Dimensions: 162 cm x 274 cm
This work is a monument to my ojisan, Masao Mura, who passed away from Alzheimers disease several years ago. He was born in Japan, but emigrated to the United States as a young man. He lost one eye back in 1945. From then on, he wore a prosthetic glass eye. After his death, I was bequeathed his eye. I have been carrying it with me ever since and thought to incorporate it into an art work to memorialize this wise, gentle man. The left panel depicts his slow descent into dementia. The image in the middle panel came to me in a dream I had upon his first Hoji. I like to think it was him looking down on me, in the form of a column of smoke. The right panel represents the void his death has left in the lives of my family. It will never be filled. This is my first trip to Japan, the land of my ojisan‘s birth. My intention with this work is to bring him home, if only symbolically.