Marking a Pandemic, One Crane at a Time – The New York Times

“My son and I took on what seemed like a simple project: fold one origami crane every day during the pandemic. Together, we discovered over the year how making art helps people bear the unbearable.” This is exactly what our community at FOCUS Magazine and Galleries works toward: using the ART of photography in SL to help people bear the unbearable, during isolation due to covid and beyond.”

By Grace Loh Prasad, July 26, 2021

Inspired by a recent visit to the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, I came up with the idea to fold an origami crane for every day we were in isolation. I thought that maybe we’d get to 100.

[My son] had developed an interest in origami long before I did and he patiently taught me how to fold the cranes. Given the absence of summer camp and an inability for him to see his friends, I was happy for any activity that didn’t involve screens.

Our first milestone — 100 days of lockdown — fell on June 22. We posted photos of our 100 cranes arranged in a mandala-like shape on our dining room table. After I posted the first photo on Twitter, many people responded with exclamations: “Wow!” and “Amazing!” Several people pointed out the deeper significance of the cranes.

The Japanese legend of senbazuru says that a person who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted a wish. It’s often a team effort and the cranes are given as gifts to bestow good luck, long life or healing. The tradition was popularized by the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima who folded paper cranes while hospitalized for radiation-induced leukemia. Traditionally a symbol of longevity, the crane has also come to represent hope and a wish for peace. Of course, if we ever made it to 1,000 cranes, I knew what my wish would be: that the pandemic would end and we’d not have to fold another crane to mark even a single extra day.

It was also a way to teach Devin about perseverance — the repetitive labor felt tedious at times but we were rewarded with beautiful photos as we completed each stage of the project. As the number of cranes grew it also gave us some perspective on the magnitude and strangeness of our ongoing experience.

Art that responds to tragedy has a long history — think of Picasso’s anguished “Guernica” lamenting the Spanish Civil War, or Ai Weiwei’s “Remembering,” an installation of thousands of colorful backpacks on the outside of Munich’s Haus der Kunst memorializing more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died in the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China. But one doesn’t have to be an artist with a capital “A” to make art in times of upheaval.

One of the most moving examples of creative expression in response to adversity is the art made by Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. Inmates made their own furniture and tools out of leftover lumber, wood crates and any scrap materials they could find, then turned to making art to help pass the time: intricate wood carvings, paintings, sculptures, quilts, jewelry and other items. “The Art of Gaman,” a book and traveling art exhibit by Delphine Hirasuna, featured more than 150 of these artworks. Gaman is a Japanese term that means to bear the unbearable with patience and dignity.

Ultimately, when I look at the cranes now, boxed up, they exist to me as a symbol of hope and resilience and of what still remains. Each one represents a day we survived.

FOCUS Magazine Photo Contest Event TODAY – Friday, July 23 – at 6pm and tomorrow at noon SLT!

Hi Everyone,

Today, Friday, is the first event of our monthly photo contest! At 6pm SLT we will have Edian Tey singing live at FOCUS Gallery and 7pm SLT DJ Donna will keep the party going! Our 2nd event is tomorrow (Saturday) at noon SLT. Hope you can stop by the FOCUS Gallery and cast your vote!

Angela Thespian ♥

FOCUS Magazine Photo Contest – DUE DATE July 22, 2021

Hi Everyone,

This month’s FOCUS Photo Contest theme is windmills. They can be beautiful, ominous, desolate, or a beacon of love. Black and white, color, monochrome —your creativity is free to show us how your mind’s eye sees a windmill and what it means to you. Remember photos are moderate, artistic, and the photo must center around the windmill. If you have any questions, please direct them to the group or Angelathespian. Photos are judged by 4 random group members. There is also a popular vote, but the judges’ vote wins. Deadline is July 22. Please use the drop-off mailbox.

1st place wins 1000L, 2nd place wins 750L and 3rd place wins 500L. Have fun!

Angela Thespian ♥

The JULY 2021 ISSUE of FOCUS Magazine is here

Hi Everyone,

The July issue of FOCUS Magazine is here! We have inspiring articles featuring Thomaz Blackburn and Janjii Rugani. Also, we celebrate 10 years of Creations Park with Barbie Alchemi and her group! Belen interviews Grumbachr Graymark, and Siobhin Shippe “fotobombs” Eve Petlyakov! Lastly, we welcome Mara OHanlon-Twang who is now our shopping editor! Enjoy!

Also featured are the winners of the FOCUS Photo Contest! If you missed them, you get to see them here!

Angela Thespian ♥

Don’t forget the photo contest!

The deadline for this photo contest is THURSDAY the 24th! And the voting event will begin on FRIDAY at 6pm!

ON the ROAD AGAIN!

June’s photo contest is all about ASPHALT!

Anything that has to do with a road, highway, parking lot – go where your imagination takes you! Dirt roads work too. Please use the dropbox at the FOCUS Gallery to submit your photos. When in doubt, send to Angelathespian. Due date is June 24th. The June 25th Friday voting event at 6pm will have Vinalyn, DJ Donna, and on Saturday at noon we will have Thera D. and DJ Souv.

Linden prizes: 750 1st place, 500 2nd place and 250 3rd place. Good luck!

Angela♥

FOCUS Magazine’s June Photo Contest! JOIN US!

ON the ROAD AGAIN!

June’s photo contest is all about ASPHALT!

Anything that has to do with a road, highway, parking lot – go where your imagination takes you! Dirt roads work too. Please use the dropbox at the FOCUS Gallery to submit your photos. When in doubt, send to Angelathespian. Due date is June 24th. The June 25th Friday voting event at 6pm will have Vinalyn, DJ Donna, and on Saturday at noon we will have Thera D. and DJ Souv.

Linden prizes: 750 1st place, 500 2nd place and 250 3rd place. Good luck!

Angela♥

The JUNE ISSUE of FOCUS Magazine is here

Hi Everyone,

The June issue of FOCUS Magazine is here! We have lovely articles featuring Rachel Magic and Janjii Rugani. Also, Belen interviews our group member and blogger, Lakaluka. And Siobhin Shippe “photo bombs” Curtis Trevellion! It’s a super issue and I hope you all enjoy it.

Also featured are the winners of the FOCUS Photography Fair challenge winners! If you missed them, you get to see them here!

Angela Thespian ♥

Burlesque with Hedy Patrucci at Lyrics Entertainment June 13, 1am and 1pm

When I envision a Burlesque show, a grand theater comes to mind in glamourous gold and flirty red, bright with spotlights — but not without a few shadowed corners where the walls whisper and trysts are schemed. The place is filled with beautiful people, some brightly adorned with colorful ostrich feathers, dressed with the intent to entertain and seduce. And last but not least is the talented host on stage, eager to make us laugh, maybe even cry a bit, but definitely to raise the temperature.

In a word, Burlesque is provocative. And no one does it better than Hedy Patrucci.

If you follow live music in Second Life, you’re probably familiar with the name Hedy Patrucci. She is a talented singer in SL who regularly spoils us with her unique voice. Every year, Chant Lyric of Lyric’s Entertainment hosts a Grand Burlesque show that features Hedy Petrucci, her best friend, singing live from The Netherlands. This year, the show date is fast approaching on Sunday, June13th.

These two lovely ladies combine their skills to produce a show unlike any other in Second Life. Hedy, no doubt dressed to impress, will have a few new songs this year, but we can also look forward to her staple Burlesque repertoire like “Welcome to Burlesque” originally sung by Cher. I’ve also heard on good authority that Dr. Long John will be making an appearance!

The show will take place on Sunday, June 13th at 1am and 1pm to accommodate most timezones. And after the show, curious lovers of art should stick around and explore what’s happening at Lyrics. For photogs looking for a fun photo sim, animations abound. Also, there’s a quirky café with a few surprise animations should you be the brave sort, unafraid to click and see! Then there is the Marakin Resort, complete with lobby, bar and chefs hard at work in the kitchen.

There are other music venues on the sim as well, including an intimate blues club where Chant will be hosting the incredible blues singer, JimmyT Dukes this summer. Side note: If you have never heard JimmyT sing, google him and you will be amazed that his kind of talent and warm, fun personality is just an IM away in SL!

So, save the date: Sunday, June 13th.
And just like the Perseids, if you miss it this year, you will have to wait an entire year for your next chance.
See you there!

Angela♥

HERE IS YOUR RIDE!