Hi, welcome back to my blog. This post is about my most recent project Ology of Apology. In this project, we learned how we can create a public memory of past wrongs so that they are remembered, and not repeated today. We looked at three past wrongs in Canadian history The Komagata Maru, Japanese Internment and the Chinese Head Tax. We also had an amazing opportunity to go on six field studies throughout this project to better our knowledge on these subjects. Because of COVID -19, we had not been on a field study for over a year. Being able to learn about what we are talking about in class by going to museums, cultural spaces and just by walking around relevant sites puts the issues into a real world perspective. I found that when I was on the field studies I learned more things than I would If I were just sitting in a class learning about them. The field studies we went on included walking tours of Punjabi town, China town and Hastings park, we also visited a Classical Chinese garden, visited Nikkei Museum and Cultural Centre and last but not least we went to a Chinese Canadian Museum.

The final goal for our project was to create a concept as well as a scaled model of a memorial that informs the public about one of the three issues in Canadian history. We would eventually pitch our memorials at the winter exhibition. For this project, I worked with Sophia, Josh and Keenan. We were assigned Japanese internment during WWII. There were six groups in total with three subjects so that meant that each group was competing against another group! My group came up with an initial idea pretty quick but it started a little too complex for the amount of time we had to complete our memorial so we made some changes along the way. In our memorial, we wanted to include the struggle the Japanese Canadians faced during this horrible time. We wanted to make our memorial tell as much of a story as possible while still making sense at first glance.

Our final memorial was a statue of a Japanese Canadian who was working on a beet farm hunched over with a sack over his shoulder and a shovel in hand. It also had a light shining on it casting a shadow of the figure behind it. The statue is elevated on a platform The memorial symbolizes the struggle of the family’s, the shadow represented the parents trying to shield their kids from what was happening to their family, his foot is hanging off the edge to represent how bad the living conditions and how they were close to death in some cases. In the end, we made a clay model of our memorial and used a flashlight to cast the shadow against the wall. Throughout this project, all of my group worked together to generate ideas and create our memorial in time for the winter exhibition.

Our memorial at the winter exhibition

If I were to redo our pitch I think I would’ve made a 3D model showing how our memorial would look in the place we planned for it to go. I would’ve also taken more time to think about the logistics of our memorial. I would’ve had an accurate scale so I could tell people how big it would be if it were in real life. I think that would help people get a better idea of our memorial. Overall I’m very happy with our final product given the resources and the amount of time we had to complete it. I’m also very happy with the teamwork my group had and how we each had jobs to do and we all did them and helped each other out when help was needed.

Looking back at this project I think it was a very interesting experience. I found it interesting to go in depth and learn about the not so great things of Canadian history and visit historic sites to further deepen my learning on each issue. Although I feel like I would’ve been able to create better work if I was given more time to work on our memorial before the exhibition. Overall I feel like this was a strong project and I liked being able to present our memorial in front of a big group of people.