Hi, my name is Wendy Maruyama and I am a visual artist. The wildLIFE Project is a body of work that serves to illustrate and project to its viewers the plight of elephants, rhinoceros, tigers and other animals. These animals are being killed off in alarming numbers for their ivory, their horns, their meat and/or fur, only to serve the vain needs of humans. This work is to be exhibited alongside an interpretive exhibition that will show graphs, maps, photos and videos that serves to educate the viewer further, with the intent of educating them about the vulnerability of these animals. This project will also bring awareness to the problem of wild animal poaching and the need for wildlife protection.
An earlier work, Executive Order 9066, addressed the forced evacuation of Japanese Americans during World War II. The resulting exhibition was accompanied by a mini interpretive museum (inspired by regional museums one finds scattered across the US) showing facts, statistics, maps, archival objects and photos. This project was successful in that it became a community project, not only drawing artists and art lovers but also the broader communities, (Asian Americans, American history high school students). The project served to educate many Americans that knew very little about this unfortunate piece of history. Moving forward, this is my template for the wildLIFE Project, where the ultimate goal remains the same as Executive Order 9066: that is to inform, as well as engage the viewers emotionally and as activists.