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Abstract

I believe in art as life, and creativity as a life work; I have been living creatively to communicate with people. How can we understand each other through art and its practice? This question has taken me to many places in the past and has sparked my research. As I am an immigrant, student, teacher, researcher, poet, and visual artist, my role and way of connecting with society is to keep asking myself, “How can I relate myself to the hardships, pain, struggles, and grief of others to gain their trust?” Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, I have become more aware of the responsibilities I have to serve society and what I am capable of. Creating events to gather people from different cultures and backgrounds to think about life is part of my research practice. In 2015, the two major earthquakes hit Nepal and my colleague was asking for help through intercampus email. Recognizing the scale of this disaster, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to help a local community that I knew was grieving the loss of life and culture. We then started our dialogues to help heal their grief. In July 2015, we organized five fundraising educational events to support immigrants of Nepal in B.C. to raise awareness of the effect of the tragic events. At these events, KIZUNA1: Gather for Nepal, we cried, talked, hugged, sang, danced, and prayed together. There were mothers, children, students, teachers, musicians, artists, and poets all gathered to share their feelings at the events.