Title: RequiemCD Date modified: 09/22/2001
Requiem for an Executed Bird
A Series of 45 Works all created in June and July, 1991
All mixed media on paper support, 40" x 32"
Self-playing CD-ROM, 18 minutes. Plays on PCs and MACs, from CD. ISBN 0-9704042-3-9.
$25 plus applicable sales tax.
During the worst days of World War II the artist was a four-year-old child in Japan, and her family had left Tokyo to escape the bombing. Death was everywhere. One day, near her uncle's hospital where they were staying outside Tokyo, Junko happened to see a chicken that her uncle had slaughtered: its head had been chopped off, and it had been hung upside down, its blood dripping into a bucket which had been carefully placed on the
below. This sight traumatized the young girl, and for nearly fifty years she had a terrible phobia of birds of all kinds, and could not even look at them.
But during the summer of 1991, she was moved to create this series of works depicting the executed bird. Over an intense 8-week period, she produced a series of 45 works, all on paper; and at the same time, she kept a diary of her thoughts and feelings as she worked ceaselessly in the studio. In the middle of the series, she realized that she was painting a Requiem for the executed bird; and through her passionate act of creation, she and the bird were both freed from their trauma.
This CD-ROM presents all 45 unforgettable images, which include shocking, bloody depictions of the slaughtered bird, but then show the bird standing in a cathedral, and finally show the bird ascended into the air, its feathers flying in circles of light and gold. Excerpts from Junko's studio diary, made contemporaneously with the art, are also included.
This intensely personal presentation invites the viewer to participate in the passionate mystery of the creative process, through which the Bird was released to its eternal rest, and the artist was able to transcend her phobia.