Sunday, March 11, 2012

Puzzle Project with Magokoro Net for Japan Disaster Relief Effort

These are the puzzle pieces I created for the Puzzle Project that started in NYC and toured around Osaka Japan.  Most recently they have been working together with Tono Magokoro Net to help with the funds for the earthquake and tsunami relief effort.  
More about the Puzzle Project here:
More about the Tono Magokoro Net non-profit organization:

Nomadic Ojizo
Acrylic paint, transfers, paper, hemp
This piece was about connections, and an interwoven concept of relations without boundaries, or discrimination.  Freedom to weave cultures, perspectives, and people together with understanding and acceptance.

Ojizo In Unison
Acrylic paint, transfers, collage, paper, glass
For this piece I tried to cater towards the children with images of animals, Batman, and simple words that they may be able to relate to or feel encouragement in times of need.

Disco Ojizo
Acrylic paint, transfers, collage, mirror
I tried to portray the Ojizo through negative space, with mirrors to create an illusion through reflection. In completion I realized the mirrored surface created a reflection of self, and surrounding occurrences, as well as bringing different facets and angles of light to brighten and shimmer around the room.  I love the look of light reflecting off mirrored surfaces and creating prismatic effects, I used to decorate my interiors with this in mind and it lifted my spirits.  

Ojizo-sama are Japanese divinities or symbols of guardian and protection, in particular children and travelers; they can be found in the most remote places and all around Japan.  Although they are usually made of stone they seem to have a life and soul of their own.  Each one is totally unique and have different expressions, gestures, or postures.  People usually make hats, scarves, bibs, etc to keep them warm and show their respect, also leaving flowers, and food.  

Unlike the huge golden statues of Buddah or Kannon-sama in temples that signify the upper echelons and elite society, the Ojizo-sama are modest and represent the commoners in communities; providing them with protection and faith.  

Being born in Japan I have grown up seeing these Ojizo-sama everywhere and have always been drawn to them.  Last year I visited Japan right before the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe happened, and throughout the trip I had recorded sketches of Ojizo-sama which I encountered in Ofunato, Sendai, Iwate, Shirokawa-go, Kyoto, and Tokyo.  Past blogs about the trip if you are interested:

 This image has been on my desktop since last year!  That says quite a lot as a Gemini who likes to change it up often.

I don't like to dwell on the negative past, I like to acknowledge whatever has happened, learn from them, and progress forwards.  I have a distaste for long, dragged out victim roles some place themselves, it is unhealthy (although I understand how and why it can originate and prolong).  I empathize and care but stay clear of getting sucked into negative cycles.  I try to encourage and empower, support and help in what ways I can.    
The will to survive
The strength to endure
The courage to face the truth

Breathe for peace of mind, embrace the gift of life, and be.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog, it truly means a lot to me.  Please be well and to stay up dated you can subscribe and you will be notified through e-mail.  




  1. Ojizo-sama are peaceful, beautiful and they can somehow offer protection, I believe. You never expect to find one of them when you actually find it; it gives you an immediate sense of peace, you don't feel alone, you really feel like it has a soul of its own.
    Thank you Marie to let people know about this lovely piece of Japanese culture.

  2. I hope to use art to show the relationships between Asian Americans and African Americans, as well as media representations of Asian Americans.

    Thanks for showing your work, Marie.

    --Joel K.