Wednesday, October 4, 2006

In Honor of Masumi Hayashi

The first time I ever saw a panoramic photo collage, I fell in love. I had put photography class on my list of things to do. I wanted to take a class with Masumi Hayashi. The more I saw of her work the more I liked, then loved.

Then I began to learn little things about the artist. Masumi Hayashi was born in the Gila River Relocation camp in Arizona in 1945. She has been a professor of Photography at Cleveland State University for more than twenty years. This past weekend Ms. Hayashi was murdered in her apartment by a mentally disturbed neighbor. This beautiful, talented, amazing woman, and another artist, sculptor, were taken away from the world violently.

No, she is not more worthy of mourning because of her talent. They are worthy of mourning because they were taken violently, and before their time. I think she deserved better than to have come into the world imprisoned, and to have her life taken, violently, and imprisoned--I am certain she did not welcome death. Everyone deserves better than this.

I still have photography on my list of things to do. It is beautiful that we have her powerful work; we have her powerful voice. Her work cannot be silenced.

With a heavy heart, I wish you peace.

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