Portfolio > Hawaii After the War

Betty
Ink on paper
2018
Mary
Ink on paper
2018
Akaka Falls
Ink on paper
2018


This project is made possible by a 2020 grant from NY Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), NYS Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

“Hawaii after the War” is a project that began in 2017 but was not fully realized until 2018 when, after the death of my father, I was given a large envelope of photographs taken by my grandmother during and after the war in Hawaii. This project is based on these photos - the paternal side of my Japanese American family who lived in Hawaii for many years before and after WW II.

When Executive Order 9066 was set in place, it imprisoned over 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans in the United States. My paternal Japanese American family in Hawaii was not imprisoned. Yet in contrast, my Los Angeles-based family was relocated and imprisoned for the duration of the war.

Both sides of my family suffered life long emotional trauma, but their scars were manifested in starkly different ways.

Through this project I explore issues of family, loyalty, and exclusion. I am interested in humankind’s emotional connection to the environment, whether by stewardship or by destruction. By doing so, I address notions of transcendence, the sublime, isolation and restitution in these works, and in the process, I seek to provide insight into finding balance and solace.

A prototype of “Hawaii after the War” was exhibited in 2018 and a continuation of the series was slated for exhibition in 2020 and due to Covid-19, the exhibition was cancelled. The new series of paintings will use ink on Italian paper, ranging from 20”x 16”, up to 30”x 20”.