Haruko Okano. STUDIO WORK 4

2006 Ties That Bind Fo(u)r Generations Ties That Bind Fo(u)r Generations, 2006
Medium: collage and drawing. Dimensions of each book: closed: 5”W x 6”H x 1/2” D
opened approx.: 6” H x 3’L
This was a set of 4 artist bookworks in response to a call for an international touring exhibition with the theme “Lineage”. Based on my family history as a Japanese-Canadian, the set covers my families history from the 18th. century to present time.

2007 Sepultura Sepultura, 2007
Medium: mixed media, rice paper, wicker, salt, deer scapula,repurposed Barbie dolls and found objects. Dimensions: small boats 3’L x 11”W x 1.5’D large boat: 4’L x 13”W x 3’D As the audience wanders among the boats their shadow mingles with those of the figures suspended in the smaller boats. Displacement of air causes the finely balanced tillers to move setting the boats in motion.

Sepultura is a kinetic installation made up of several small boats surrounding one large one. Inspired by the Tibetan view of death and the journey through its seven stages, fused with the crossing of the river Styx as the process of death from Greek mythology. All parts are made of a combination of recycled parts, rice paper, ink and the Japanese technique of kiyori coated in kakishibu.
The main central boat represents the Tibetan stages of dying, the center cut out castes the projected light image of a coffin onto a bed of salt. Each of the boats have tillers made from bent bamboo balanced to respond to any air displacement. The figures within the small boats are suspended such that they gently rock with the movement of the boats but also cast their shadow bodies on to the hulls.
The audience become unintentional performers — the living somnambulant witnesses to the separation of body from spirit.

2009 Salt of the Earth Salt of the Earth, 2009
Medium: Salt, water, fibre and bones, stainless steel spoons and handmade teeth Dimensions: 4’W x 4’L x 6.5’H
This installation is a time lapse work that uses salt water inside each tower. As the water is absorbed up the red fibre, it evaporates and the salt recrystallizes. Over the period ofthe exhibition the weight of the crystals pull the spoons vertical as though pouring salt into the mouth of each vessel.