When I was five years old, my mother Yukiko told me to pray for our ancestors. "Because of our ancestors, we are living here", she said. I imagined what looked like our ancestors. I was looking at the shadows of a curtain making shapes of some kind of creatures by wind. It seemed like they were observing us to make sure everything was o.k.
I saw moving shapes between trees and tree branches in the shady shintoh shrine. Our ancestors were watching us whether we were playing friendly or not.
Every villagers were gathered day and night at the shintoh shrine festival in our village, drinking sake, eating a cooked squid, sushi and all kinds of delicious foods. There were disabled uniformed soldiers from World War II, sitting and singing war songs with accordions to ask for mercy from the festival goers.
People were playing taiko, shamisen - three string guitar like instrument and dancing. It was a celebration of the past, present and future. Our ancestors were also participating in the festival.
So many years later...when I was at Concordia University in Montreal, my idea of ancestors were formed as the sculptures celebrating the shintoh festival.
In the year of 2000, I moved to Edmonton. I felt that we were all living on the soil of dead creatures. Since then I extended the idea of my ancestors beyond humans. I came to the world of an explosive burst of evolution at the cambrian period about 500 million years ago. We were all living in the water.
"We were here and we are here"; it is the title of my work.
Taiga Chiba 2010