Seiko Purdue (MFA 1997)
Since 1996, I have been collecting "wish ties." These are made by people in the United States who write their wishes on pieces of paper and tie them into knots. The impetus for my project stems from the traditional Japanese custom of "omikuji" (purchasing paper fortunes in shrines and tying them to trees while making a wish). It is not my intention to follow the Japanese tradition literally, but to find a way through my own background and culture to connect and establish links to the Western world. Also, it is a way for me as a foreigner to meet many people and understand more about the country. This project has taken me to a variety of public sites, including parks, beaches, cafeterias, and schools. I incorporated this concept and American cultural attitudes into a video and into many installations that involve the theme of personal wishes. "Wish Flower", "Wish Stones", "Wish Necklace for 28 women", "Wish Balls", "Wishes by Mail", "Wish Quilt", "Slippery Knots", "Wish Sandals", "Bullet Cloth IV", "Origami Cloth", "Sashiko Cloth", "Kimono-Go: US Presidential Election Wishes", and "Nakami: Things Inside" are installation manifestations of my "Wish Project."