Thursday, April 7, 2011

Japanese Americans in Utah: Opression and Art during WWII

This blog post is a photo and written word collage containing the following elements:
  • Photographs I took (with permission) during my visit to the Testament to Topaz exhibit, which was displayed at Pioneer Theater on University of Utah campus March, 2011. The exhibit held primarily artwork created by those California residents forced to reside at Topaz, the Japanese American internment camp in Southern Utah, during World War II. The art pieces belong to the J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections Department, and the Topaz Museum, Delta, Utah.
  • Facts quoted from exhibit posters and the Topaz Museum website.
  • Quotations from a couple of my favorite books by Japanese-American authors, The Strangeness of Beauty (set in Japan and California in the 1930s) by Lydia Minatoya, and When the Emperor Was Divine (set in San Francisco and Topaz Interment Camp in the 1940s) by Julie Otsuka.
Approach this blog post the way you would a museum. Browse. Take a few moments to ponder who these artists were, what they experienced, and how they responded.