It's been over 2 months since the tragic tsunami in Japan. Regretting I had to cancel my trip in the midst of the post-traumatic upheaval, I donated some few hundred pounds to the Tsunami Relief Fund via the British Red Cross. It's not a very large amount, and no amount of money will ever recover the priceless losses and bring back the dead, but it's the only way I can express that my thoughts are with them. It is also wonderful to have friends that share this sort of gesture too. I am proud and wish to share my appreciation of some of my dear friends, Shibari artist/rigger Wykd Dave and his partner model/photographer Clover Fibbs.
Neither Clover nor Dave has ever been to Japan before, but both hold a great fascination for Japan and anything Japanese. Hence Dave's great passion for Shibari and interest in the Japanese language evidenced in practising his hiragana! In view of their grief towards the tsunami victims, they decided to auction one of their prints in which I modelled when I had shot with them a few months ago. It is a limited edition which they named "I dreamed of Japan" or 日本の夢を見ました。(pronounced "Nihon no yume o mimashita")
The auction took place at the Shibaricon in Chicago at the end of May. Apparently well received, the winning bid went to a gentleman known as "The Hammer" and his wife from Baltimore, Maryland for $500. Not only was I chuffed that our print is worth as much as that, but how many went out of their way to bid for a good cause. Proceeds have been donated to the Japanese Embassy in London.
As a sweetener, it was Dave's bright idea that I write a little letter addressing Shibaricon participants in Japanese. Even better gesture was that I handwrite it! It has been a long while since I wrote something as long as that in my own language. However, modern technology has saved me from manually rummaging through my kanji-jiten (a dictionary to help us with the Chinese kanji characters), as I typed it all up on Word and copied it on paper by hand. And thanks to my strict mother for pushing me to calligraphy classes as a kid; I loathed attending it but am so grateful now as it proved useful for the years to come for something as important as this.
I sincerely wish to thank all the bidders for their generousity and compassion. And my hugs and thanks to Clover and Dave for initiating this kind gesture. I am very honoured to have them as my friends.