The Cranes

Japanese Cultural Centre

Toronto, Ontario, CAN  1998

The Cranes: The National Tribute to Japanese Canadian Life is a collaboration between Philip Beesley and sculptor Kai Chan, that is located in the Auditorium Lobby of the new Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre building.

The Cranes is a special project transforming a donor recognition wall into a dynamic monument to the Japanese Canadian community. A long, low wall runs along the breadth of the installation, holding two thousand names etched on glass tiles. Above is a folded glass screen carrying an embroidered field of hundreds of cranes, etched into the reflective surfaces. The installation invites continuing participation of community members. We anticipate continuous activities by the community throughout the year: the changing seasons, festivities, birthdays, and anniversaries. Responding to this, a stone ledge is placed between the upper and the lower section providing a place for offering and communication. We imagine placing a devotion here might become an annual event for many members of the community. On the other hand, reactions can be spontaneous: placing a flower; stopping to meditate on a personal moment; making a gesture to honour and pay tribute to special people and their lives.