Cindy Mochizuki: Autumn Strawberry Residency
An artist-in-residence, Mochizuki will gather local berry farming stories from Japanese Canadians.
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Autumn Strawberry is the name of a strawberry crop that could fruit in cold winters. It was bred by Bunjiro Sakon, an Issei pioneer (a Japanese immigrant to Canada) who ran a farm in Mission, BC.
For this TechLab residency, Cindy Mochizuki will collect berry farming-related agricultural histories and stories from Japanese Canadians in the Fraser Valley area. She will also create drawings, scripts, and storyboards for her two-channel animated film that will be part of a multimedia installation in 2021 with the same name. As she often does with her art, Mochizuki will blend her own family history into the narrative, as her paternal grandparents were berry farmers in Langley before World War II. When war broke out, the Canadian government sold their farm and sent them, along with other Japanese residents, to harsh labour camps in the BC interior.
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. Her artistic process moves back and forth between multiple sites of cultural production considering language, chance, improvisation, and engaging communities. She has exhibited, performed, and screened her work in Canada, US, and Asia. Exhibitions include the Frye Art Museum (Seattle, Washington), Yonago City Museum (Yonago, Japan), The New Gallery (Calgary), Hamilton Artists Inc (Hamilton), and Koganecho Bazaar (Yokohama). In 2015, she received the Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award in New Media and Film.
Image credit: Cindy Mochizuki’s great-aunt's berry farm in Maple Ridge, 1941. Photo courtesy of artist.