To the Village that Once Was
“Shōrō Nagashi: To the Village that Once Was”, commemorates the history of a Japanese Fishing Village on the coast of Pacific Palisades - sharing the story of those who came before. Its lifespan was short but it was an important influence on the fishing culture in Santa Monica and the Japanese-American population helped in the city’s early formation. There is almost no record of it, save for a few images and brief mentions in a variety of historical documents.
During my COAL residency for the city of Santa Monica, I became curious about the little known community and the story of its people. I felt very connected through my own family history as when I was creating this piece, I discovered that my Great-Grandfather delivered fish from the village across Los Angeles, near the end of the village's life. The piece intertwines footage from a handmade traveling camera obscura, historical images with music from an Obon festival parade. It is believed spirits come back during the Obon festival period to visit their loved ones. This piece was installed within Santa Monica’s own Camera Obscura, and gives glimpses into landscapes of the past and present, honoring those who came before and their influence.
Thank you to the City of Santa Monica for their support through the COAL (Camera Obscura Art Lab) Residency