Kay Sekimachi, Ogawa II

The Noguchi Museum Hosting Two Exhibitions Featuring Art by Incarcerated Japanese Americans

No Monument: In the Wake of the Japanese American Incarceration

Through Sunday, May 15

The Noguchi Museum – 9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard), Long Island City

Admission: $12/$6 seniors and students

No Monument: In the Wake of the Japanese American Incarceration is a focused, small-scale exhibition guest curated by Genji Amino with Christina Hiromi Hobbs. Marking the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 (signed on February 19, 1942), which authorized the mass incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans by the United States government during World War II, the exhibition asks what it means to represent and remember the legacy of the height of anti-Japanese sentiment in the twentieth century for the history of Japanese American art. Including a selection of sculpture and photography by Japanese Americans, some of whom were incarcerated and others whose lives were shaped indirectly by the widespread impact of the Executive Order, No Monument responds to the ambivalent status of memorialization in light of the silences, refusals, studies, and dreams which persist in its wake.

Kay Sekimachi, Ogawa II
Kay Sekimachi, Ogawa II

Unidentified Works

The exhibition includes a small selection of works made by as yet unidentified Japanese Americans in the concentration camps, featuring the works of the professionally trained beside those of the self-taught, and those elevated as fine art alongside those historically relegated to craft or design. These unidentified works now reside in the collection of the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, and circulate as part of the traveling exhibition and remembrance project Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection. They are presented alongside work by Leo Amino (1911–1989), Ruth Asawa (1926–2013), Joseph Goto (1916–1994), Hiromu Kira (1898–1991), Toyo Miyatake (1895–1979), Patrick Nagatani (1945–2017), Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988), Kay Sekimachi (b. 1926), and Toshiko Takaezu (1926–2011).

Isamu Noguchi, Monument to Heroes
Isamu Noguchi, Monument to Heroes

Pop-Up Exhibition

Complementing No Monument, the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) presents Contested Histories at The Noguchi Museum for one weekend, April 8 through 10. This collection of art and craft objects created by Japanese Americans while incarcerated in American concentration camps during World War II was transferred to JANM in 2015. Contested Histories is intended to “crowd source” as much information about each object so that JANM’s efforts to preserve and catalog the collection can be as complete as possible. Throughout the event, camp survivors and their family members and friends will be encouraged to share with JANM information they know or remember about the objects, including who is depicted in the many photographs, most of which were shot by photographers working for the War Relocation Authority.

From Contested Histories (1)
From Contested Histories (1)

Visiting The Noguchi Museum

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The museum is accepting timed reservations. Guests are required to wear masks in all indoor areas. For full COVID-19 protocols and to purchase tickets, please visit The Noguchi Museum’s website.