mayu kanamori

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media reviews



Floods of Memory
by Christine Choo

Meanjin Cover
. . . . . . . contrast to Sadness (William Yang), Lucy Tutsui-Dann and photographer Mayu Kanamori's The Heart of the Journey is a documentation of Lucy's search for her Japanese father presented as a slide show with Lucy's physical presence and voiceover. Here is a more accessible presentation of a journey in discovery of biological roots, in this case Lucy's 'Japaneseness', of which she was unaware until well into adulthood. The show takes the audience through the blocks, the emotional and family sensitivities and the breakthroughs that led to Lucy's encounter with her biological father and his family. Lucy's presentation is true to her self - informal, down to earth, direct. Through her exploration of this journey, important aspects of Lucy's life and personality are illuminated and she comes alive as an Aboriginal Australian of Japanese biological heritage. Every performance is a revelation, an interaction that enhances and influences the telling. Lucy's journey continues. The audience can see her Japaneseness taking form.
Life writing and life performance are intimitely enmeshed. Writing a life, as illustrated by Michi's Memories and Shen's analysis of Chinese autobiographies in Dragon Seed, constitutes a presentation of self to an audience while remaining a process of exploration and definition of identity. Similarly, life performance, as illustrated by Sadness and The Heart of the Journey, can be read as texts in which the authors inscribe their lives and their search of their own Asian-Australian/Aborigianl-Asian identities. I am encouraged by the openings these texts provide to further floods of memory that will perhaps come to mark our collective emotional and psychological landscape in this country.

Vol 6, No 1, 2002

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