Allison Chan (b. 1995, Honolulu) is a designer, artist, and naturalist based in Oakland. Interested in  interconnectedness, slowness, and abundance.

Select Clients
School for Poetic Computation
Eyebeam
BUFU
Seattle Design Festival
Google
Internet.org
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
IDEO CoLab
Seattle Children’s Hospital
Sandspiel
(b. 1995, Honolulu) Designer, artist, and naturalist based in Oakland. Interested in interconnectedness, slowness, and abundance.



  Ocean to           
 Forest,     
           Death to            
            Life    





Every year, tens of thousands of salmon migrate back through the Salish Sea to spawn and die in their ancestral rivers and streams. Retracing the earth’s magnetic and chemical pathways over hundreds of miles, salmon return home to birth new life and pass onto the next. Oceanic phosphorus and nitrogen from their bones then absorb into the riverbeds, feeding generations of forests and fauna across the Pacific Northwest. In this sacred ritual, death becomes life.

In June 2020, I came home to Seattle amidst immense communal rupture and mourning, and I rediscovered my childhood tradition of watching salmon return from the sea. I’ve since been documenting their annual migration through photographs, maps, sketches, and other visual ephemera to honor the life that blooms from their ritual death. The species’ kinship to the Coast Salish way of life pre-dates colonialism by many millennia, and it continues to sustain the ecological, cultural, and spiritual reciprocity of the region today despite extraction and habitat loss under the settler state. In tracing the salmon run through the places I grew up, I’ve begun to draw continuities from coastal climate justice and indigenous wisdoms to my own articulations of diaspora, loss, grief, and survival.
 
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