Abundant Sound Gardens: In Memory of Toyoji Tomita New and recent work by Suiren, a.k.a. Renko Ishida Dempster

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Fu III (Air III) from Earth Elements series, 2007 Acrylic On Paper © Suiren
Abundant Sound Gardens: In Memory of Toyoji Tomita New and recent work by Suiren, a.k.a. Renko Ishida Dempster

535 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
May 14th, 2009 - May 30th, 2009

Union Square/Civic Center
Tue-Sat 11-5


Abundant Sound Gardens is a joint commemorative event that celebrates the life of Bay Area composer/trombonist/gardener Toyoji P. Tomita (1951 - 2008). On May 13th, as part of Meridian's monthly concert series of New Music, Meridian Music: Composers in Performance, Stuart Dempster, a self-described Sound Gatherer, will be composing and performing in real time various new pieces as well as earlier pieces, with the assistance of "Toyoji Trombones," Dempster Didjeridus, and the Cornelius Cardew Choir (directed by Tom Bickley). Dempster, besides trombone and didjeridu, will be performing on conches, garden hoses, and "sundries," and will utilize all three floors of Meridian Gallery including the backyard garden for the performance. Musicians Andy Strain, Jen Baker, and Ron Heglin will also perform. Visual artist Suiren, a.k.a. Renko Ishida Dempster, will be creating visuals to some of the music performed as well as engaging in real time drawing with her "Circles of Peace" which will serve as a score for performers to interact.

Suiren's work created from the concert will hang in the gallery in an exhibition from May 14 - 30 that includes recent series of "visual improvisations," also done in collaboration with musicians.

Suiren, her given artist name, a.k.a. Renko Ishida Dempster was born and brought up in San Francisco. Her work is influenced by Japanese aesthetics and Buddhist philosophy inherited from her parents. Upon moving to Seattle, Suiren engaged in formal art studies at the Factory of Visual Art and University of Washington School of Art. Suiren's work includes costume design/construction for theater pieces; performances of drawings with Seattle's movement, sound, and visual arts collective ROOM; and various exhibitions in the Northwest.

"Since the mid-1990s, returning to my artistic endeavors, I have emerged with works reflecting influences from both east and west. As a Nisei (second generation Japanese-American of immigrant parents), I am continually drawing from the inner and outer resources of both cultures as well as discovering infinite possibilities that continually surface. Aspects of spontaneity through meditation, interplay of yin/yang, light/dark, negative/positive, dry/wet, rough/smooth, and so on, are explored with a sense of joyous freedom and openness of expression.

These explorations are integrated with the process of improvisation. Currently I am continuing to engage in working not only individually but also collaboratively with dancers and musicians in an improvisatory way, being attentive and responsive to what others are doing. I continue to be informed by music and meditation derived from life-long Buddhist practices. Music and meditation, as sources of creative impetus, influence and shape my painting-work that is characterized by a highly individual and provocative voice." - Suiren

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