When Amy Tsujimato, the wife of my Sensei Brian Victoria, asked me for help on the behalf of Japan I immediately obliged and went searching for inspiration in some of the most unlikely places.
A long time friend of mine had been committed to an insane asylum and had asked me to pay a visit. After we did some Qi Gong she allowed me to sift through her journals and within the jumble I found the quote "Within the muddy clams their lies a pearl of wisdom" The beauty of this quote resonated deeply and inspired me to portray a beggars muddy clams extended in a position that could be read as receiving or giving a lotus blossom. The lotus blossom, the treasure that grows out of the muck, holds a pearl within.
These screen-printed mulberry pearls were available for what ever amount the donor could afford. 100% of all proceeds, which totaled over $2,000 USD, went to the Japanese Red Cross efforts in cleaning up after the tsunami.