Haruko Okano – 2019 Thread Residency Artist

Haruko Okano is a third generation Japanese Canadian born in 1945 to a single mother. Her mother died when she was 8. Within a year of being made a permanent ward of the Ontario foster care system, isolated from her people, she ceased speaking Japanese. She did not connect to other Japanese until her early 30’s.  Okano considers herself a cultural hybrid.

Her journey to BC was by backpack and canoe traversing with a friend through the northern parts of the central provinces. She eventually moved to Vancouver in 1975. It wasn’t until the Redress movement and the government apology that she finally found her people.

She is an interdisciplinary artist with over 30 years of professional experience.  Her practice is immersed in emergent, creative processes, deeper sustainable community engagements and collaborations as they apply to issues of the environment, cultural equity and systemic oppressions. She is primarily a visual artist with forays integrating poetry and spoken word with performance art.

More information on the Thread Residencies can be found here. The residencies are curated by Elwood Jimmy, and supported by the Musagetes Foundation.

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