Wish Necklace for 28 Women
In another installation, “Wish Necklace for 28 Women,” I made a huge pearl necklace with 28 women’s wishes. American people seem very strong to me but they are also vulnerable. As a gender and ethnic stereotype, Japanese women are assumed to be quiet and gentle. This is not always true. As a Japanese woman who came to the United States, dreaming of becoming an independent, internationally active artist and educator, I was greatly inspired by the wishes of the women in this country. I imbedded those feelings, struggles, and sympathy into a fragile cast wax form with panty hose. I made this piece when I was 28 years old, at a time when I had both fears and hopes about becoming 30. Two pearls are plain, indicating possibilities for the future, and the other 28 pearls are decorated with objects usually associated with women. The numbers 28 and 30 are related to women’s cycles as well. The 30 pearls are held together with my hair that serves as a vehicle to make a connection between the participants and myself. The women’s wishes are sleeping in my pearls as if real pearls were sleeping in their shells. The universal form of the circle in this necklace holds divine power to encourage those wishes to come true.