About The Exhibition
The Art of Survival: Enduring the Turmoil of Tule Lake is a traveling exhibition probing the complexity of the Japanese American confinement site in Newell, California. Tule Lake became the only officially designated segregation center during WWII. Ruled under martial law, it was the most controversial of all the Camps.
Through haunting images of artifacts by fine art photographer Hiroshi Watanabe we glimpse into the lives of those who were held at Tule Lake and are encouraged to consider both the orchestration of daily life behind barbed wire and what it might have been like to live with constant turmoil and uncertainty. Oral histories allow us to hear varying views on some of the complex issues of Tule Lake in the voices of those held captive. And the art created both then and now, made from seemingly insignificant objects, beckons humility and connection.
Promoting education and increased awareness of what can happen when a nation loses reason to fear, this exhibition is designed to inspire critical thinking and action in regards to injustice. It also highlights the power of creativity to maintain dignity and well-being in times of harsh circumstance.
As well as looking at daily life, the exhibition explores the following topics: the power of propaganda; up-to-date terminology relating to the confinement experience; the history behind the incarceration; the difference between a Segregation Center and a Confinement Site; who were the people deemed "disloyal", were they disloyal?; what happened when the Camp closed?
Of note is the photographer whose work is featured in this exhibition. Hiroshi Watanabe is a fine art photographer with exquisite sensitivity. His powerful black and white images are featured in fine art galleries world wide, including Zurich, Munich, New York, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, and Kobe. JoAnne Northrup, director of contemporary art initiatives at the Nevada Museum of Art who has worked with the artist, believes "Watanabe has succeeded in bearing witness to a chapter in U.S. history that Americans must not forget."
This exhibit has been made in cooperation with the Tule Lake Unit of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
This material received Federal financial assistance for the preservation and interpretation of U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally funded assisted projects. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to:
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