The Crab as a Symbol of a Personal Journey (Spanish)

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(Spanish) There are two interesting moments with the crab. In 1994, on Cerro Azul beach, I found crabs washed up near the obelisk that commemorates Japanese immigration to Peru. Now they have changed this obelisk; there is a more contemporary monument that has taken the place of the older obelisk. But I remember having seen these dried up crabs near the obelisk. And in some way I thought to myself, seeing my mother and my family walking on the beach and having a family meal together there, that those crabs were like persons who had washed ashore, like grandparents who had been returned to shore by the waves, those boats that they took, which remain in Peru. There is an interesting phenomenon that takes place during the summer. The waves get bigger, the tide rises and covers much of the beach, the sand on the beach fills with pools of water and with small sand crabs that live for a short time, the foam comes about and washed them up, and when the summer humidity dries everything up, the crabs cannot return. This idea, therefore, fascinated me because, upon seeing the dried up crabs in the sand, I felt a little of this life that was then present in a very special way. Obviously the crabs were dead but upon seeing them whole and intact, I had the feeling that they were trying to reach the earth, and I thought about the immigration issue, which gave shape to an important work that I named “Without Place” in the National Museum in the same year, a work where the crab was the central figure. The other episode, another important moment, is in Pasamayo, on the beach in Pasamayo, which is the beach on the Ancón Sea, where my grandfather died. I have a not so happy experience with the waves, but fortunately at the end, I arose gracefully from the foam and of the growing and [increasingly] larger waves. I was surfing the waves and one finally brought me [back to the beach] [where] I lost my senses, and when I opened my eyes I found crabs all around me. I think about the obelisk at Cerro Azul, and I realize that my grandfather had gone to Ancón, and I think how near and far it is at the same time, but there is a relationship [of some kind]. And I decide, I believe that ever since that moment, I place his image and his face over a blue crab. The crab seals a very specific relationship with my grandfather.

Date: December 7, 2007
Location: Lima, Peru
Interviewer: Harumi Nako
Contributed by: Asociación Peruano Japonesa (APJ)

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