February 13, 2011

Wayne Hosaka 1948-2011

The Tag Project lost another friend. I first "met" Wayne through email: we communicated about The Tag Project, and he had told me that his father, Fred Tomio Hosaka, was incarcerated at Poston. Fred Hosaka compiled a family history up to World War II and published a book and photo collection. His book is entitled "Shortchanged in America".

Wayne and his friend, Kathleen Fabry came to one of the first Tag Project events in San Diego, which was held at the Buddhist Temple. I remember his infectious broad smile, and his enthusiasm for the project.

Wayne Hosaka was pro motorcycle racer until he was severely injured in a crash that left him a quadriplegic. Despite his injury he continued to be very involved in the motorcycle world, and after his accident, he also became a talented artist, taught girls how to play basketball, enjoyed gardening and played the harmonica.

In the early 1990s, Wayne became an early user of the World Wide Web and in 1995 created a website for the motorcycle flat track community called Flattrack.com. The website and forum he created quickly became a must-read for everyone interested and involved in flat track racing. In a recent interview, Hosaka said, "My original mission statement was to provide a place for flat track enthusiasts to share information on racing, equipment, schedules, etc.

In 2004 he became a member of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists and through the years produced many amazing paintings.

Wayne Hosaka overcame great adversity to become one who lived a full life.

February 9, 2011

Strange side effect

Ok so I am experiencing a mild form of depression now that I am finished with the Tag Project.

After spending nearly two years working with a large corps of volunteers and seeing some favorite people on a regular basis, I am suddenly left with an odd sense of completion and emptiness!!

I remember jumping for joy when the last tag was afixed to the last grouping and then suddenly stopping and thinking - wait. You mean its over? It almost feels like the end of a wild roller coaster ride.

It's not over though. I have thoughts to share as I move forward on the "EO 9066" series. buying a big roll of tar paper and a buncha nails. trolling ebay for artifacts. lining up a schedule.

I am also back at SDSU teaching in the Spring, so that brings some activity and distraction to my newfound depression!

Stay tuned, it ain't over yet.

January 12, 2011


The Tags are all DONE!!!!!!

After just over two years, all 120,000 tags are now all stamped, written, aged and assembled and are in storage until the debut opening at the San Diego State Downtown Gallery in March 2012!! http://downtowngallery.sdsu.edu/ Thanks to all of you who have helped at all levels: helping me with the physical work, helping me to start the project, egging me on to do them all, and just being supportive!

I am about to start the rest of the work for the EO9066 component of the exhibition, which will also be shown in a solo exhibition in Boston at the Society of Arts and Crafts in August 2012.

The Tag Project will then go to Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina. Venues that we are working on are in Racine WI, and the Fuller Museum in Brockton MA. We are seeking a closing venue, preferably in the Northern California area or Seattle. I am also working with the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego on finding a venue in Japan, preferably Hiroshima.

The response to the project has exceeded my expectations, with very good media coverage, with the most recent being in the Pacific Citizen and San Diego Home and Garden Magazine. American Craft Magazine and the Smithsonian have also given The Tag Project some great visibility as well!!

So many people have helped with this project and this project is "OURS" together.

While I will continue to keep my email messages to a bare minimum, I do want to let you know of exact exhibition dates and will be sending email blasts for each exhibition. If you have not yet received an email from thetagproject@gmail.com account, please let me know and I will add you to the list.

Again, many many thanks for participating in this project and I do hope that most of you will be able to see it at some point, in its entirety!! I also hope to meet many of you who have helped from long distances!!!

All Best,