Water Is Life, We Are Still Here
The artist created this public art project to honor the legacy of the original Native American Ohlone tribe’s cultural heritage after the city discovered Ohlone Shellmounds on the site.
Nagase collaborated directly with local Ohlone tribal leaders to create the park’s design of an environmental artwork with native plantings and a series of carved granite boulders along the meandering walkway, a metaphor for a creek. The whole design concept reflects their reciprocal relationship with nature and their deep reverence to live in harmony.
There is a series of 11 carved sculptural boulders expressing the themes of water, earth, and wind. In addition, the artist included a native medicinal garden on the site that the Ohlone tribe will care for and maintain.
Video: Honoring Shellmounds: Artistic Collaboration with the Ohlone Community
“Shellmound park sprang from ‘miracles’ – A California city has found a unique way to pay tribute to an Indigenous burial site”
“Ookwe Park in Richmond honors Ohlone ancestors on sacred ground”
Ookwe Park, Richmond CA
Commissioned by Richmond Arts Commission
Granite boulders, native plants and decomposed granite walkway
Height 2–4 ft, Length: 3–7 ft, Width: 2–6 ft