Musashi Mix Inq

Palliativity 125: Lifelines

Posted on May 12, 2011

My Week

This last Saturday night I spiked a fever of 106° and was in hospital for a G-I infection for most of the week. I've never had an illness threaten my life before.

I slept under a blanket thru which flowed nearly freezing water for most of a day to break my fever down. I danced with my iv and catheter bag on my hourly trips to relieve myself. Full spectrum antibiotics with the same symptoms as the illness itself.

I'm home now but this means it will take a little bit to catch up on my artwork, though I won't stop posting here. I can announce that a show is coming late this summer and it's going to be big 🙂

For now, like Japan, it's time for me to rebuild as well.


Filed under: 5:7:5, Event, Pain No Comments

Palliativity 124: Swords and Peace

Posted on May 4, 2011


It was only last week that my partner and I were discussing why the swords that hang in our bedroom have the handles on the right. In times of war, Japanese swords are displayed so that the samurai could reach up with his right hand and draw the blade at any moment.

The swords, an amalgam of history and steel, have hung over my bed this way since 9/11.

Just a few days ago I asked myself, what would it take for me to reverse the swords? It was so easy to turn them the last time, ten years ago. I hesitate to flip them back; to fight entropy, chaos and human nature and reframe my world.

"Breaking news - Osama bin Laden is dead…"


Only days after Hiroshima, America celebrated victory over the Axis and cheered in the streets. Ticker tape poured from office windows like so many tweets. And yet the war of the atom was only beginning…

I've turned the swords now, on the day that would have been my Grandmother's 90th birthday.

I'd rather sleep under the symbol of peace, determined to make it last as long as it can.

It's not the death of one man.

It's believing in the future.

It's being brave enough to hope.


This summer, a new gallery showing is on the way!

Posted on April 29, 2011


Details and awesomeness to follow…


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Chernobyl +25: Newspaper Article w/ Translation

Posted on April 21, 2011


Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago

+25 Article

"The Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago opened an exhibition entitled “Chornobyl + 25” on April 8, 2011. As visitors enter the exhibit hall, their attention is drawn to female mannequins, dressed in regional costumes of Polissia, Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Zhytomyr, holding hands and encircling a symbolic sarcophagus dedicated to the loss of life in Chornobyl , a quarter century ago. Garlands of apple and cherry blossoms, symbols of life, love, and hope drape down from a winged bird high above, in honor of the people and their land, those affected by radiation not only in Chornobyl, but also at Fukushima Da-Ichi in Japan. The artistic canvases of Petro Yemetz (Kyiv), Anatole Kolomayets (Chicago) and Yuri Viktiuk (Los Angeles) dedicated to the Chornobyl tragedy symbolically frame a wealth of photographs that were gifted to the Museum by photographers who recently visited the region. Included in this exhibition is a display of Soviet-era medals and awards that were given to the “liquidators,” a collection created and donated to the Museum by Dr. Yuri Podlusky.

"Orest Hrynewycz, vice-president of the Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago, opened the exhibit by observing a moment of silence in memory of those who have been affected by nuclear disasters. As a specialist in the field of nuclear engineering and the safety of nuclear power plant construction, Mr. Hrynewycz gave a step-by-step presentation on how the nuclear disaster at the Chornobyl Power Plant happened, and contrasted this with the current difficulties in Japan. Father Myron Panchuk, a doctoral student of depth psychology, presented an analysis of the ongoing impact of the Chornobyl trauma not only in terms of the explosion itself, but also as a dimension of the Russian colonial oppression of the Ukrainian people. Vira Byy, a graduate of the Ukrainian Catholic University and the University of Syracuse, spoke about her visit to the village of Opachychi, located in the Zone of Alienation, and her encounters with the so-called “samosels” who reside there. Vira travelled from Kyiv for the opening of this exhibition and not only contributed many of her own photographs which depict “samosels” life, but also composed the logo for this event, a sunflower with the nuclear trefoil sign superimposed upon it. Her photographs evoke an artistic passion for capturing the suffering and resilience which characterize the people of Polissia who willingly “bear the cross of a post-Chornobyl Ukraine.”

"More than 300 photographs were submitted for this exhibition by a diverse group of photo journalists including Myroslav Hanushchak, a journalist from the ICTV Television Network in Kyiv, Anton Vlaschenko who researched the biodiversity of the Chornobyl region, Halina Klyashko, an actress from Holland who assisted an international team of radiologists, Daria Kalyniuk, a Fulbright scholar who was born in Zhytomyr, Alex Nazarenko, a programmer from Ternopil who resides in Chicago, Konstyantyn Vorona, from Ukraine’s General Consul in New York, and the Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago.

"In attendance at the exhibition opening were members of the Japanese-American community. David Tanimura, an archivist at the Japanese-American Museum in Chicago, greeted opening night attendees and shared his personal family history. His roots are in Hiroshima, where most of his family died from radiation poisoning caused by atomic bomb. "Only two countries - Ukraine and Japan have experienced nuclear catastrophe. Radiation is invisible, innocent people are dying. We are here together in order to remind the world that the danger lies everywhere. Our planet is our home. We are called to protect it from the forces of nature, and from actions which are not ruled by reason." Junko Kajino and her husband Edward Koziarsky are filmmakers who are planning to travel to Fukushima in early May to document the lives of Japanese farmers. They actively engaged exhibition participants in conversations about the Chornobyl catastrophe, and the devastation to the land and the people of Polissia.

"The 80 photographs displayed at “Chornobyl +25”, capture images of the reactor site and the sarcophagus, of the abandoned city of Pripyat, the historical city of Chornobyl, and of the people who returned to their homes illegally and have been stigmatized as “samosels.” Life in the “zone of alienation,” where more than 160 villages and towns of Polissia were turned into a nuclear waste dump, is a legacy which the former Soviet Union left us. The Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago invites you to reflect upon this legacy of loss and destruction by visiting “Chornobyl + 25”. This exhibition will run through May 25. The Museum is located at: 2249 W. Superior St, Chicago, IL 60612."

Maria Klimchak, Museum Curator


Project Sunshine 1: Here Comes the Sun

Posted on April 20, 2011

The Japanese preschool I went to as a child, Tampopo-kai, has been processing the
catastrophic earthquake and tsunami just as I have: making art.


"Project Sunshine"

I'll be hosting their beautiful and moving pieces here over the next few weeks.

Sometimes it is the smallest voices that can bring the greatest hope.

Hana, age 5

Tsunami hit Japan, but pretty stars twinkle in the dark sky. Sunny day will come…" — Hana, age 5

Please donate and help rebuild.

Thank you—


Chernobyl +25 follow-up

Posted on April 14, 2011

Group Photo

A grand thank you to the 100+ people who could make it to the
Chernobyl +25 opening at the Ukrainian National Museum!

The exhibit will be on display thru May for those who missed it.

•  •  •

Solidarity and solace in a shared space and time is a rare confluence.

An understanding of the power of technology and living with the consequences.

Prometheus scorned: Fukushima and Chernobyl in the aether.

The Japanese and Ukrainian American communities are more similar than I'd ever thought possible.

It's nights like these that give me the strength to believe in humanity's chance
of creating a better world rather than tearing it down piece by piece.

For those interested in learning even more about the Chernobyl incident, a FREE presentation and documentary will be premiering here in Chicago on 4.28.11 at the Chicago Cultural Center:

Chornobyl 25 Memorial

Event Homepage


Chernobyl +25 photos:

Ukrainian National Museum


The Physicist

The Philosopher

The Documentarian


The Japanese Contingent

Group Photo