Nikkei Internment Memorial
This poetic memorial is part of a larger body of work Lesia Mokrycke developed as a creative approach to landscape architecture and art. While working with Hapa Collaborative she engaged her experience as an artist to lead the development of the design for the Nikkei Internment Memorial in Vancouver. As the artist on the project, Lesia built on previous work in her practice to create the installation and memorial design, setting the stage for landscape materials to tell a larger story. Her research on the Ukrainian-Canadian internment provided a strong basis for the conceptual development of the project, underscoring the experience the Japanese-Canadian community had nearly three decades later; and her deeply felt connection to sculpture guided her approach to sculpting the form for the memorial.
In this social and experimental work of landscape and art, Lesia conceptualized the approach to community engagement as a contemporary artwork. Through the development of a series of simple note cards handed out to the community, this work allowed community members to engage with the creative process and develop a personal connection to the memorial. Each note provided a space for the community to share their personal experiences as part of a collective.
Through asking a series of 6 simple questions about the community's internment experience, memory, and connection to Steveston, the notecards provide an anonymous space for people to remember, record, and share their personal experiences. This information informed the basis for the conceptual and physical design of the Nikkei memorial. Formally, the engagement process is inspired by the ancient spiritual practice of writing prayer notes on paper and placing these gifts in temples for release.
In 2022 this memorial was honored with a CSLA Award of Excellence.
Learn More Here: https://www.csla-aapc.ca/awards-atlas/steveston-nikkei-memorial