Credit: Cindy Mochizuki, Autumn Strawberry, 2021, animation still (detail). Photo courtesy of artist.
Cindy Mochizuki: Autumn Strawberry
Experience life on local Japanese Canadian farms in the twentieth century prior to WWII with hand-painted and digital animation.
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This multimedia installation takes visitors back in time to Japanese Canadian farms in the twentieth century prior to WWII. Autumn Strawberry emerges from Cindy Mochizuki's artist residency at Surrey Art Gallery in 2019. Mochizuki met with dozens of Nisei and Sansei (second and third generation) Japanese Canadians whose parents and grandparents had owned or worked on agricultural farms across the Fraser Valley. These sites included Strawberry Hill/Surrey, Mission, Haney, Langley, and Maple Ridge. Combining archival research with these collected stories of farm life, Autumn Strawberry weaves together a series of short vignettes imagined through a 60 minute hand-painted and digital animation projected onto the Gallery’s walls and screens. Visitors will see life on these farms—women pickling, children polishing chicken eggs, and men picking berries. Mochizuki combines real with imagined characters and storylines in keeping with her art practice of historical re-creation.
In addition to the large-scale projections, sculptural tree stumps and pieces of barn flats are scattered throughout the Gallery floor. You're invited to peek inside and watch animations on smaller projections that move from everyday farm life to a creaturely, future world of trees and lively insects. The trees’ ghostly presence recalls the “dream of riches” that motivated many Isseis (first generation Japanese immigrants) to come to Canada, while also bringing to light the harsh reality of their participation in deforestation processes (tree stumping) to clear the land so they could plant their berry fields. These farms would later lie abandoned and then sold to support the construction of their internment camps during WWII when the government forcibly removed Japanese Canadians from the west coast of British Columbia.
Along with Henry Tsang: Hastings Park, Cindy Mochizuki: Autumn Strawberry uses camera and projection technologies in unexpected ways to illuminate forgotten images and histories.
Join Cindy Mochizuki and Henry Tsang for a virtual conversation about their exhibits on Saturday, July 17 at 7pm via Facebook Live and YouTube.
About the Artist
Cindy Mochizuki creates multimedia installation, audio fiction, performance, animation, and drawings. Her works explore the manifestation of story and its relationship to site-specificity, invisible histories, archives, and memory work. She has exhibited, performed, and screened her work in Canada, US, Australia, and Japan. Recent exhibitions include the Vancouver Art Gallery, Burrard Arts Foundation, Richmond Art Gallery, Frye Art Museum, and Yonago City Museum. She was the recipient of the Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award in New Media and Film (2015) and the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts VIVA Award (2020).
Animation Digital Compositing & Studio Assistance: Cherry Wen Wen Lu
Editor: Candelario Andrade
Sound Design and Composition: Nancy Tam
Carpentry: Minoru Yamamoto
New Media Playback System Designer/Projection Advisor: Sammy Chien
Lighting Design: James Proudfoot
Choreography: Lisa Mariko Gelley
Textile/Costume Design: Leah Weinstein
Taiko: E. Kage
Shakuhachi: Takeo Yamashiro
Accordion: Mishelle Cuttler
Foley: Cindy Kao
Violin: Molly MacKinnon
Curator: Jordan Strom
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery