Emma Nishimura: Rememory: Echoes and Archives

30 March - 6 May 2023

Through a collection of printed and installation-based works, Rememory: Echoes & Archives by Emma Nishimura addresses ideas of memory and loss that are rooted within family stories and inherited narratives. Nishimura's art practice is an ongoing process of researching, uncovering and honouring the experiences her family and thousands of other Japanese Canadians endured throughout their forced incarceration during the Second World War. Her work explores this history and the reverberations these experiences have had throughout the subsequent generations. 


As part of these collected works, Nishimura presents never before exhibited pieces from her recently completed residency in Sweden, as the recipient of the Queen Sonja Print Award. This new series entitled Generational Echoes, is an extension on Archive of a Rememory, the installation of small hand-printed paper bundles which are displayed in rows of shelves. Through the 265 unique sculptures, Nishimura draws inspiration from a traditional form of Japanese packaging known as furoshiki, in which a square of cloth or paper can wrap a gift and protect valuable objects. 


Working with photo-intaglio and sculptural papermaking processes, the bundles appear to contain an assortment of objects and have varying illusions of physical weight. However, all of the bundles are empty - mere shells that bear only the traces of what they once held. The photographic fragments that can be seen, along with the furoshikis, have now become pieces of historical evidence, markers of previous attempts to archive these stories. The prints themselves have become another generation of story. All of the annotated stories and photographs have been archived from the artist’s family members and albums, as well as through interviews with others who shared in these historical experiences. 

Installation Views