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Alumna creates airport “aquarium”

June 12, 2012

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    Sayuri Sasaki Hemann, B.A. ’03 (all photos by The Weaver House).
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Traveling can be a stressful experience, but the work of Sayuri Sasaki Hemann B.A. ’03 is certain to impart a feeling of calm and tranquility the next time you visit the Portland International Airport.

Hemann’s Underwater Flight installation, filled with fabric jellyfish, felted barnacles, and a hand-dyed kelp forest, can be seen in the ArtObjects glass case at the entrance of Concourse E. The installation will be on display through January 15, 2013.

Underwater Flight is part of Hemann’s Urban Aquarium project, which “explores the concept of being ‘out of context’ and ‘displaced’ by recreating a jellyfish aquarium in places where you least expect.” 

As Hemann explains, “The jellyfish in the wild are displaced when put in an aquarium. Likewise, the jellyfish in the aquarium are displaced when put in front of public passersby. This project hopes to create a dialog between viewers about context and displacement and about the unexpected. It is also an experiment to see how the jellyfish in the aquarium interact with the outside world when placed in unexpected spaces.” 

A studio art major, Hemann credits Lewis & Clark with allowing her to explore a variety of interests before following her passion.

“I especially loved taking drawing classes from Debra Beers, who taught me how to look at something and translate into my own lines through my body,” Hemann said. “I took technical lighting and drafting classes, which helped me create my senior art project. I also appreciated being surrounded by friends with so many different interests. I would never get that from going to an art school.”

To see more photos of Underwater Flight, visit Sayuri Sasaki Hemann’s website or blog.

Underwater Flight // Sayuri’s World from Quimby on Vimeo.