Growing up in Hawai`i, I spent much of my youth observing my grandparent’s attentiveness to their landscape, a residence that was built on ancient lava rock. With my grandmother in her late 80’s and my grandfather since passed, she now has a much smaller space to tend to. The clipping’s of flowers she receives from this garden adorns a home altar for my grandfather where every morning my grandmother visits him through daily prayer.
I am interested in aspects of daily ritual, specifically in relation to a flower and a vase, the cutting, assembling, and connecting of the mums to complete a composition and the sorting of stem sizes to regulate its flow of water. This process of transformation engages themes of longing, waiting, and return; an image envisioned during my time spent in the “Whaling City” of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The simplicity and elegance of the 19c Whaling era Widow’s Walk is an important architectural detail of the Captain’s home, imbuing a ritualistic and mythical narrative. In this narrative, I imagined a woman performing in silence, this daily walk up a flight of stairs to a tiny rooftop lookout waiting for the return of her captain.
— Ryan Takaba