A month ago today...

A month ago today was a big day for me.

I knew it was going to happen, we all knew that.  But never thought it would actually happen.  Somewhere in my mind there was a thought, that it would stay there indefinitely.

A month ago today, we took down the jellies.  Team Sayuri, which consisted of my dear friend Kert, my Mom and I along with "artist wrangler" Greta started taking down the Underwater Flight installation at the Portland International Airport at 9:30am, January 15, 2013.

My mom came all the way from Japan to catch the last of the exhibit and to help me take down the show.  As the "Director of Photograpy", she was also in charge of the "time-lapse pictures" that we set up.  She had her cell-phone alarm set for every 15 minutes.

After starting to cut each individual fishing line that suspended the jellies, we quickly realized  that we needed to take time lapse pictures at a smaller interval.  Snap snap snap, the scissors went.  And snap snap snap, the pictures were taken. 

Of course, with my dear friend, Kert, (a.k.a Chief Technical Consultant) the take-down went very smoothly.  My anticipated all-day take-down turned out to be a 3.5hour event.  By 1pm, we were all packed, ready to load.

A month has passed, but it is all still vivid in my memory.
I finally finished editing the video.  With lots of smiles.
I wanted to share this with you.

Documentation In Progress ~Underwater Flight~ from Sayuri's World on Vimeo.

 I have to share a few highlights of the day.  So many thoughts, so many emotions.  But here are my picks:

1)  A very nice interaction I had with the security personnel.
While waiting in line to go through security, waiting for my turn to go in the x-ray machine, Kert, who was in line in front of me, told the security officer that we are taking down the jellies today.  His poker face immediately (but only for a flash of a second) sparkled, and told us all that "it was the best show he has ever seen at the airport."  He also told us that amount of positive feedback that he had been getting from travellers was super; and that he is not just relaying information, but also speaking for himself as well!  It seemed as if security personnel side of him and his human side was battling within him.   When parting, he told me that he is honored to talk to the very artist that created it.  What a sweet way to start off the day...

2) Who is the real boss?
Kert told me jokingly that I was being too bossy.  (If you have ever had the privilege to know her, you would know that whatever she says, she means it in the most endearing and loving kind of way.)  She also had a cute Mickey Mouse t-shirt that said, "You are not my boss"  (how fitting!) After that, team Sayuri had a very LONG discussion (with smiles tucked inside) about who actually is the real boss around here, inside the fishtank.  After a bit, we all agreed that my "Plan of Action List" was our boss.  The Boss.  The Ultimate Boss.    From then on, every time we changed or veered away from the Plan of Action List, we had to cross out the original and revise it.  Also, Kert made sure that we crossed off the things that we actually did.

3) The executive decision.
My other favourite moment of the day was when my mom started making executive decisions about the timing of the time-lapse pictures.   She was taking charge, and in control.  At the very end, the interval got to be every 3 minutes.  I love organic changes like this.

There were so many other moments that were so special.  Everytime I think about that day, my heart fills with some warmness.

In retrospect, I am not too sad about taking it down.  I feel like it's just the beginning of all the adventures yet to come.

Finally, I would like to give my special and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported me one way or the other, just by meer existence, making me coffee, or just for being you.  Without you, this whole thing would not have been possible. 

Thank you.  Some of you know who you are, but for others, here is the list.  (the boss??)

Greta Blalock
Kert Wright
Toshiko Sasaki
Sayuri Sasaki Hemann
Plan Of Action List
"Film" by The Bad Plus

Greta Blalock
Kert Wright
Toshiko Sasaki
Hannah & Kelty, THE WEAVER HOUSE
Alex & Hannah Olavarria, QUIMBY.TV
Mom & Dad Hemann & the Hemann family
Brien my Love
Beth Preciso

Chika & Ayumi, Shannon Richardson, Linda Tesner, Kimberly Sun Long, Kyles & Adam, Nuin & Tom, Kyra, Emily & Kirsten, Mr. Whill, Michele, Nodoka, Teresa, Shoko & Brian White, Mike & Jane Meggers, Yoshikazu Yagita, Mai Ide, Narissa, Debbe Hamada, Rachel Austin, Kristy Kun, The Blueriders

Kind and resourcefull staff at Lowe's
Supportive community of St. Johns, Portland, OR

Hiro & Toshiko Sasaki


Oh, gosh, it feels so good to post this.  Happy friday, everyone.



Behind the Museum Café ~An Urban Oasis~

Sayuri's World is thrilled to announce that a fluther of jellies has migrated to an urban oasis right behind the Portland Art Museum.  Guess where it's at??

Yes, the jellies currently reside in this tiny aquarium amidst the hand-crafted ceramic vessels and kokeshi dolls on display at Behind the Museum Café in Portland, OR.  They are available for sale at the counter in Sayuri's World gift boxes, ready to take home to create an aquarium of your own.

The cafe is in a beautiful modern space with floor to ceiling windows that allows for abundant natural light, juxtaposed with a touch of traditional Japanese accent such as carefully hand-picked antique tansu chests, art and crafts.   The space comfortably seats many that are looking for an urban sanctuary, somewhere peaceful and calm to sit and relax, offering a selection of Japanese drinks and handmade treats.

I feel like I am back in Japan whenever I am there;  with its simple and clean,  sophisticated aesthetic, it is a perfect mix of traditional Japan and ever-changing contemporary urban life.

Rumor has it that the jellies are going to be around until the end of June.

Come and see the jellies floating about while sipping on a cup of  Matcha Latte, which is a work of art on its own, not to mention the warm and sincere hospitality.

Oh, and did I mention that the 36th Portland International Film Festival opens today!??
Check out the exciting line-up here!

Aster & Bee ~ The next temporary loving home for my jellies.

Some jellies that reside in Sayuri's World decided to stick around in Portland for a little longer...

Last Sunday morning, the jellies started migrating towards SE Division St and 48th Ave.  From the very moment that they spotted the open window display space of Aster & Bee facing a seductive French bakery, the jellies knew that it would be their next temporary home for a while.

Aster & Bee is a special store located in the Richmond neighborhood in SE Portland that offers thoughtful creative lifestyle for families.  From kids' toys to locally created handmade jewelry to works of art, the lovely owners Alexis and Heather hand-pick each item in store to create the most unique shopping experience for their customers.

The jellies are very happy there, they told me themselves.  They love the sunlight they get during the day, they enjoy people-watching, too. Each of the six jellyfish species have a magical story of their own, and you can read about them here.   These jellies, along with hand-felted barnacles and hand-made coral pieces are now available to join you in your home at Aster & Bee.

Come say hi to the jellies and see them hanging in the window!
They told me they will be around until the end of February!!!

Thank you for creating a comfortable space for my jellies, Aster & Bee!