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Half-Japanese artist Faith-Ann Kiwa Young conceived of this series “Kibō Nobori, which translates “hope flags", on a sleepless night while nursing her second child. She dreamed of creating an installation inspired by Japanese streamers Koi Nobori traditionally hung in Japan for their national holiday Kodomo no Hi, or “Children’s Day.”  This is her first series to honor her heritage as well as her reflections as a mother of two.

Young began by shooting portraits of children in innocent, natural states of exploration (climbing a rock, staring out into nature, etc..) and compositing those with her photos of traditional Japanese fabrics and iconography - in order to create surrealistic images meant to showcase child-like dreams and evoke childhood memories. Printing the digital collages onto chiffon fabric and hanging them ceremoniously in open air, she sought to create a surrealistic, colorful playground honoring children and youthful spirit, hope and imagination. The multi-media installation serves as a homage to traditional koi nobori flags whilst being visually symbolic of the melding of cultures within nikkei and sansei generations of Japanese-American ancestry and tradition in LA.

 

To coincide with this series, she created the annual Kibō Nobori Children’s Festival in Downtown Little Tokyo, Los Angeles along with the non-profit Terasaki Budokan and AAPI marketplace co-mrkt, which seeks to showcase the emerging talent, creativity within the Japanese-American and AAPI community in her city and spread hope within the city.

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