Title: Nidoto Nai Yoni: Forgetting and Remembering the Wartime Incarceration of Japanese Americans
Artist Statement: This exhibit presents photographs of the physical remnants of the ten American concentration camps that were used to incarcerate Japanese Americans during World War II. In 1942, approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans that lived within the western United States were forcibly removed from their homes, imprisoned in American concentration camps for up to four years, and denied their constitutional rights because of their Japanese ancestry. This body of work explores the themes of memory and forgetting, particularly in regards to the loss in our understanding of this history that will inevitably occur when the last of those who went through this experience pass away and their lived memories vanish.
Biography: John Matsunaga is a Minneapolis based visual artist, educator, and activist. His work in the visual arts explores Asian American and Japanese American history, identity, and experience. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Twin Cities chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and is a member of its education committee. He also teaches in the Asian American Studies program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Location: East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul, MN 55106
Acknowledgments: John Matsunaga is a fiscal year 2017 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Additional funding for this exhibit is provided by the Twin Cities Japanese American Citizens League through the Les and Karen Suzukamo Fund, the Donald S. Maeda Fund, and the Helen Tsuchiya Fund.
The East Side Freedom Library would like to thank the F.R. Bigelow Foundation, the Marbrook Foundation, and the McNeeley Foundation for making events and programs like this possible.
For more information regarding the exhibit and related programming please visit: http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org/