The Happy Bird Project
Hiromi Ashlin with Happy Bird Project piece, "Takara (Treasure)"
In 2010, Hiromi founded the Happy Bird Project, a philanthropic avenue for creating art for the benefit of others.
At each of her major exhibitions Hiromi respectfully asks visitors to create a "wish for our planet" and to write or draw their wish on a small square of Japanese traditional paper (washi). At the end of the exhibition she takes the collected "wish" papers and folds them into individual cranes creating special art works that are sold, or auctioned, with all proceeds benefiting a specific charity, cause or individual.
Participate & Become A Work of Art!
Hiromi will be creating a Happy Bird Project piece to commemorate her major exhibition at the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC. She kindly asks you to take a moment to reflect on a special wish or devotion and to write or draw your wish at the Happy Bird Project table and deposit it in the Wish Box. You are welcome to contribute more than one wish!
At the end of her Washington, DC show in January, your wish, and the collective wishes of all other exhibition participants, will be shipped to Hiromi in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Hiromi will fold all of the wishes into a unique origami painting which, in turn, will be returned to the United States for framing and forwarding to BHP Billiton's US headquarters in Houston, Texas for auction at the conclusion of Hiromi's United States tour. Your wish will be part of the collective wishing of all the Happy Bird Project participants from the Australian Embassy's exhibition. So, through your participation, you will become a work of art!
An Example of Hiromi's Happy Bird Project Artwork
Hiromi's exhibition at the Australian Embassy contains a beautiful example of a Happy Bird Project piece.
"Takara (Treasure)" is comprised of seven hundred and nineteen multi-colored crane elements containing the collective wishes of students at the Trinity Beach State School. Hiromi volunteered to do a one-week workshop at the school, where she discussed the "Takara (Treasure)" project and instructed students on origami folding, calligraphy, and paper making.
Inspired by images of the Coral Sea, to the east & north of Queensland, the work's impassive earth-toned surface consists of neutral colors and organic elements, which includes sprinkled sand Hiromi collected along the shores of Trinity Beach.
As viewed from the sky, we look into a deep pool of spectral colors dancing with energy produced by the totality of colored crane elements, each containing a unique written "wish" or "devotion", forming a beautiful aggregation of humanity's collective aspirations.
At the periphery of the cranes is an enfolding paper wrapping which Hiromi decorated by burning figurations in the paper using incense, an artistic as well as a spiritual constituent of the painting.
All proceeds from the sale of "Takara (Treasure)" will go to charity. Should the painting not sell in Washington, it will be offered as a companion piece at BHP Billiton's charitable event in Houston next year.