signature design feat.
japanese carp flags or koinobori. these flags are typically put up on may 5th every year for children's day - kodomo no hi. kodomo no hi traditionally celebrates the unique individual child & their bright possibility. the carp symbolizes the child -- the resilient & brilliant being that swims upstream against all currents & odds & finally transforming into a dragon.
my design of a koinobori flag on an electricity pole articulates my understanding of home -- san francisco -- with a specific reference to the jtown / fillmore neighborhood i grew up in.
today, jtown & the fillmore are considered distinct, separate communities, divided by geary "expressway", which was built following wwii, during justin hermann's redevelopment or "urban renewal" in 1968. however, prior to wwii, geary was just a regular sized street with mom & pop okazu shops, the infamous harlem of the west jazz clubs, local barbershops, actual homes that housed actual families -- filipina, black, japanese, greek, chinese, chicana & jewish. yet like so many neighborhoods inhabited by working class folks of color, this jtown / fillmore neighborhood was considered an eyesore full of urban decay. thus like in new york's south bronx with robert moses, san francisco's justin hermann called for the mass displacement of working class folks of color in jtown / fillmore under the guise of "urban renewal" in the late 1950s.
hundreds of thousands of folks were evicted without true consent or notice & left homeless. this was a very dire situation for many japanese-americans who were just returning from the concentration camps of wwii. the black, japanese, & filipino communities came together in protest, but eventually their efforts were met with bulldozers. thousands of victorian & edwardian homes knocked to dust. instead stacked compartments or public housing complexes went up...the last one finally built in 2004.
where are we today?
san francisco's homeless population is through the roof, majority of the folks being evicted san franciscans. the diverse richness of this once seedy city is now looking ever bland & conforming to standards of the so-called "trendy". jtown is now a disneyland caricature of "japan," owned by corporations & enslaved to the every whim of the dollar. san francisco's black population is now at 2.7%...for fuck's sake...
although it is easy to drop down in the ditches of despair, we must remind each other to celebrate, to occupy our space, to continue to walk along 'cause --
w e s t i l l h e r e .
as a fifth generation san franciscan & public school bred womxn, i see myself, ourselves, as resilient & brilliant carps continuing to weather the ever-changing tides, going nowhere but upstream. living, breathing, thriving for the san francisco we bear in our hearts...for & with the luminous carps, the fellow architects of our tomorrow -- the youth.
let us celebrate our resilience & brilliance.
this shirt is produced from start to finish in los angeles, california.
it's an american apparel sublimation t-shirt that is quite thin & will in fact show your nipples (yee!) if traversing space without a garment underneath.
because this art piece was not digitized for aesthetic purposes, the pen strokes (to some so-called imperfections) are shown on the shirt.
a $5.00 shipping fee (domestic, throughout the US) will be added to your total at check out.
if you are shipping internationally, a $10.00 shipping fee will be added at checkout.