"why are you keeping me here?

you said i don't belong here. 

Kung Flu virus

Come fly me away"

away... away... away...

what would happen if I actually embraced this sentiment -

that I'm not from here. 

and I'm not from there either. 

that this land was and never will be mine or ours  - 

so what is belonging, really?

 observing my immigrant mother, 

who bravely moved here -

to see her, even, recognize that this is not the same place she sacrificed for - 

and how weird it must feel for her, that the longing has shifted generations - 

to see her child want to go all the way back actually, to step 1, to where she turned her back from and everything she knew, so badly - 

what myths do we each hold about the promise of far away places?

I want to journey to find out.

to explore that brave curiosity, the same longing that brought me here - 

the longing to NOT belong, and to know we have forever to belong, and STILL yearn and learn through it -  to feel and move through that dissonance of clashing principles from past to present, and to gain the skill of teaching yourself to find a sense of home somewhere along the way. 

In a unique time when Japan has physically closed it's borders to the west, 

perhaps - the first time since 鎖国 sakoku and the culturally defining tokugawa period of 214 years of isolation - 

with out the energy or focus on tourism

how is the culture shifting?

how is it shifting its gaze inward - 

and can I go inward also?

what does it look like now when we can try to rehabilitate ourselves - 

with out being watched (through tourism, anthropology, nihilism)?

and can I also rehabilitate, my grand country - as in my being, my home?

to realign with home not as a place but a deep knowing

to internally shift my gaze also from all the ways i've been taught 

what instinctual ways of moving 

what ancient knowings do I return to 

and where do I decide to fight for my own?

I want to be-longing.

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Flat sketches
Inspirations for the collection
Final garment image #5

© 2021 by 竹中響子