(A&SCRC) Your Name is Safe, You Can Rest Now

This post was written by Mary Grace Klausmeyer, intern for the Book Arts and Letterpress Lab

As May comes to a close, we take time to reflect on Asian/Pacific American heritage month. One Asian-American artist has several works in the Baylor Book Arts Collection. Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder is an artist, writer, and bookbinder based out of San Antonio, Texas. Inspired by history, artifacts, and memory, Schroeder reflects on her family history in a piece titled Your Name is Safe, You Can Rest Now.

The accordion style book opens to five of the same photograph with five different captions. The photograph depicts a family standing over the coffin of a deceased member, who passed away in action during WWII. This is a sentimental piece meant to explore how collective memory has an impact on an individual. Schroeder never met this family member, but her family keeps his memory alive to the point that the artist feels she knows him well. The title invokes a sense of closure for the deceased member; his family is honoring him in memory after his traumatic loss. The picture is what is found on each of the descendant families’ butsudan, a Buddhist home altar.

The colophon reads, “A letter to my great-uncle Rikio who fought in the US Army Infantry 442nd Regiment during WWII, which consisted almost entirely of second-generation Japanese Americans, and holds the record of being the most highly decorated unit in US Military History. While Rikio and others in Hawaii fought for the US, our family members on the mainland were held in internment camps. Rikio was the youngest of my grandmother’s siblings and was killed in action in 1944 at the age of 20. Inkjet on Niyodo and Epson photo paper, typeset in Diotima. Variation of panorama structure developed by Hedi Kyle.”


Image from Schoeder’s webpage, https://www.kerischroeder.com/your-name-is-safe

Schroeder has three other artist’s books in the Baylor collection. If you would like to learn more about Baylor’s Arts and Special Collections Research Center, please visit our website at https://library.web.baylor.edu/arts.

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