A community-created art installation blooms outside the downtown Eugene Public Library during May (which is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month). For the JUNE 5th PANEL (online live video), “Oregon BIPOC Experiences and the 1000 Hopes Art Project,” please click here on June 5th, 3:00 p.m. to join the conversation, or click anytime after to view later. Coordinating artist Sara Miura Zolbrod says of the project, “The invitation is to express a hope, dream, or prayer, write a loved one’s name, or unburden a weight by writing down a sorrow or worry.” Participate in person at the Library, or email us your hope and we will write it and hang it for you. Says Zolbrod, “This project is inspired by a special memory I have from when I lived in Japan as a child. My parents took me to a temple and we hung a narrow piece of paper on a grand, old tree, along with thousands of other papers.”
About 1,000 schoolchildren from six schools have also participated.
(541) 514-2679 (for texts)
FB: 1000 Hopes (1000Hopes.com)
ARTIST BIO Sara Miura Zolbrod has mostly worked in the performing arts; this is her first formal project with tangible materials. She brings her background as a half-Japanese person who grew up partially in Japan, and her years of involvement in arts access to this project. She has lived in Eugene since 2000.
BACKGROUND The hanging-papers tradition is known as omikuji in Japan and dates back to the 11th century. Small paper fortunes are sold at many Shinto shrines; people who buy them can hang their negative fortunes on a designated tree (or structure) to distance from the negativity, or hang their positive fortunes to amplify them, adding their hopes to thousands of others. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, accounts of written prayers being inserted into Jerusalem’s Western Wall date back to the late 18th century (—a million people a year from many faiths leave their written prayers in the wall.)
For the June 5th panel, Eric Richardson and Haley Case Scott (Siletz Tribal Member) of the NAACP and Aimee Yogi of the Japanese American Association of Lane County will join Zolbrod and survey some forms of Oregon’s state-led, state-sanctioned racism as well as share some of their hopes for unity.
MEDIA COVERAGE: KLCC 3-minute piece: Click here to read the KLCC article or to listen to it.
Register-Guard: Cafe 541 “Matt’s Picks,” early May