Tipping Bowls is inspired by my childhood memories of meals at my grandma Okada’s house on Maui in Hawaii. I wanted to reflect on the organized chaos of the kitchen. My grandma’s cooking was an art and it was very much like watching an orchestra at work when family and friends were there to prepare for big events like Japanese New Year’s feasts. The rice bowls, soup bowls and soup spoons were used for all meals and I enjoyed studying the patterns on them. When at my grandma’s house, we enjoy the cuisine of many cultures that worked in the plantations. Our meals blended Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Hawaii foods. Many of the cultural foods I enjoyed as a child are reflected in the wrappers used in this collage sculpture.
Tipping Bowls honors the creative thriftiness of both Meji Era Japan and Hawaii plantation culture, as mainly re-purposed materials were utilized to create this piece. The piece is backed with a lining of old rice bags saved by family members in Honolulu and Maui. In my grandma’s day, cotton rice bags were made into children’s clothes, undergarments and sheets for beds. The silks in this piece are remnants from San Francisco couture designer Colleen Quen. The netting is produce bag netting from fruit and onions as well as netting recycled from flower deliveries to my aunt’s Ikebana classes. Many Chinese and Japanese preserved fruit wrappers, tea bags and chopstick sleeves are also included in the piece.
Below are images of the installation day.