Shadow of Lives
Glass pieces with bases: 8” H x 7’11” W x 5” D
The memory book: 15”H 12” W x 3” D
Hair, slide glass, wood, paper, aluminum, and thread
When the atomic bomb exploded at Hiroshima, a person who was standing on some stairs nears the bomb site practically vanished. However, before becoming nothing, this person’s body created a shadow that protected the stairs in the shape of this person. No one knows who this person was; yet their existence remains on the stairs. The shadow gives me the opportunity to me to realize the person’s pure energy of life without seeing the physical body. Shadow of Lives is an expression of the pure existence of people, along with their happy memories. In 2016, I started collecting locks of hair from people, to represent their personality, their DNA, and their culture. I sandwiched each lock of hair between two pieces of microscope slide glass and heated it, fusing the glass and trapping patterns of ash from the hair, representing the pure essence of life. The resulting objects are independent of each person’s outer appearance. The trapped ash and written memories from each donor are juxtaposed to present the unbiased essentials of each existence.