This is a portrait of Devon. Devon’s grandparents bought a home in the Crenshaw District in 1950, a few years after their illegal imprisonment in the Rowher, Arkansas concentration camp during World War Two. Two years earlier, a portion of the 1913 Alien Land Law was overturned, which enabled Devon’s grandparents the right to buy their 11th Avenue house. Prior to 1948, their right to buy and own a home would have been compromised by the 1913 Alien Land law which disallowed anyone “ineligible to citizenship” from owning or leasing land in California. The Alien Land Laws were specifically tailored to restrict property rights for all Japanese living in California.
The marks that compose the portrait are the words from the Webb Haney Alien Act, which was the first Alien Land law from 1913. The second Alien land law came in 1920 and closed existing loopholes
I am honored that LA Metro/Metro Art commissioned this portrait to be included in their permanent collection. They have been featuring their collection in multi format programs across the county to their ridership.
They will be featuring the work in a show titled “We Are…Portraits of Metro Riders by Local Artists”. It will be on view in the Union Station Passage way Art Gallery and online at:
The show points out the diversity of the community of Metro riders and is presented by Metro Art in collaboration with Metro’s Office of Civil Rights, Racial Equality & Inclusion and the Communication Department.
“Devon” 34 x 27 ink on panel
“Orangutan” 24 x 72
Orangutan in its natural environment in Sumatra as it is being cut up and destroyed
“Maple Fall” 36×72
Three paintings to make one. Another in my environment series where I fracture the landscapes, cut them up and tear them apart, and reassemble them into an incomplete whole.
Gregory’s great, great, great, grandmother “Frankie” was sold into slavery at the Manchester Slave Docks in what is now Ancarrow’s Landing on the James River in Virginia in the 1840’s.
Slavery was first brought to America in 1619 in the colony of Virginia and grew into the 1700’s to become the dominant labor system on plantations.
During the 1660s Virginia adopted laws specifically designed to denigrate blacks. These laws banned interracial marriages and sexual relations and deprived blacks of property. The text is from four of those Laws from Virginia State Law”Gregory”
60×37 ink on panel
A nice write up by Claire Murphy in The Santa Clara following up on a show I did at the De Saisset Museum on the campus of Santa Clara University.
“Solitude” 48×36 acrylic on panel. I am working on a series of paintings that cuts, disassembles and reconstructs the natural landscape. I severe the landscape of trees and nature and place them one on top of each other, breaking their continuity, while bending and merging what remains. The juxtaposition of the two worlds reveals the struggle we face today with the future of our planet dependent on our ability to balance the increasing demand for resources and the needs of the natural world.
I continue in the environment series with this piece and an accompanying video that delves into the artist statement
I recently finished this video that features a narrative explaining some of the concepts behind the painting
Another portrait of my father based on a photograph taken by Dorothea Lange as Japanese Americans on the West coast were gathered up and sent to prison during World War II.
The text is the California Alien Land Law of 1913 which targeted mostly Japanese farmers who were “aliens ineligible for citizenship” and prohibited them from owning agricultural land or possessing long-term leases over it.
Ink on panel 40″ x 34″, 2021
A continuation of my environment series that fractures landscapes and environments and attempts to reassemble them.
Wonderful cover feature article in Metro on the show “con.Text” up at the Japanese American Museum San Jose.
Thank you Katie Lauer for understanding the work and putting it into words.
If you missed the talk live, I introduce videos that cover three of the portraits hanging in the show at the museum:
Lisa was born with a condition called Arthrogryposis. It is a stiffness of the joints and small under developed muscles in the body and in her case it affected all four limbs. Doctors initially thought she would never walk, but by 3 years old she was walking. At school her mom had to petition for her to get into the classroom as there were no accommodations for children with special needs.
With the passage of the Rehabilitation act of 1973, which prohibited discrimination against those with disabilities in federally funded programs, Lisa’s school began providing services for the disabled.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 went further in reach to prohibit discrimination against those with disabilities.
The text is the 1927 U.S. Supreme Court case, Buck v. Bell, which set a legal precedent that states may sterilize inmates of public institutions. The court argued that imbecility, epilepsy, and feeblemindedness are hereditary, and that inmates should be prevented from passing these defects to the next generation.
“Lisa” 60 x 37 Ink on panel
My work is featured in “Psychological Perspectives the quarterly Journal of Jungian thought” in and article titled “Healing Cultural Divides: A Jungian Approach” by Jessie Thompson and Clifford Mayes where they explore basic Jungian ideas in the hope of healing the divisions that exist in this multicultural world.
I am honored to have my work featured in “Centerpoint Now” a book that marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. The book features artists, activists, scientists and others who through their work help to access the complex issues that oppose the United Nations global endeavor for peace. The article is a statement on the criminalization of immigration. The publication will be distributed to the office of each of the 193 member states of the United Nations.
Tiffany’s portrait tells the story of the 442nd Army Battalion made up entirely of Japanese Americans who fought in Europe and Africa during World War II.
The story of Elon’ s father during the Nazi occupation is harrowing and inspiring:
As a way to see the ink on panels portraits and the fine detail that is hard to see online I am making videos about each portrait that present the work in the way I would want you to see it with the narrative I would be speaking as if we were viewing the work together.
The first one is my Grandfather:
Another ink on panel portrait of my father taken from a photograph by Dorothea Lange of the Japanese American Internment during WWII. The text is Executive Order 9066 which established the internment camps.
This and more of the ink portraits will be a part of a show at the Japanese American Museum in San Jose running August 1, 2020 thru February 3, 2021. There will be upcoming online events and hopefully open to see in person.
Tiffany is the granddaughter of Roy Sakasegawa who was drafted into the U.S. army in August 1941 from Salinas CA four months before Pearl Harbor. After the attack Roy’s family was incarcerated along with 120 thousand people of Japanese descent, 62% were American, in Poston Arizona one of the 10 internment camps set up to house the internees.
Roy went on to serve in the 442nd Infantry division composed of Japanese Americans who fought mostly in Europe. The 442nd Regiment is the most decorated unit for its size in U.S. Military history. The unit earned more the 18,000 awards including 21 Medal of Honor.
The text used to make the marks is Executive Order 9102 that established the War Relocation Authority the agency responsible for the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.
“Tiffany” 60 x 37 Ink on panel
These portraits speak to the courage and individual strength each of us posses in times of struggle and isolation.
This is Heather, she is a 1st Lt serving in the United States Air Force. Her grandfather Silvino Parcasio served in the Philippine scouts from 1927-1945 when in 1942 he was captured by the Japanese Imperial Army forced into the Bataan Death March and imprisoned. Upon liberation by the United States in 1944 he enlisted in the US Army in 1945 and served until 1962.
Many of Silvino’s compatriots, who were American Nationals by way of the Philippines being an American Commonwealth, were federalized to fight with the US Army in 1941 when the Japanese invaded the Philippines and were promised U.S. military benefits and services. In 1946 the U.S. government rescinded those military benefits to those that chose to return to civilian life.
The text is the Rescission Act of 1946 that annulled benefits promised to the Philippine Scouts.
“Heather” 60″ x 37″ Ink on panel
I have started on a new series addressing environmental issues that use forests and trees as a theme.
“Mary Jo” had an abortion at age 21 when she didn’t feel she could provide what was necessary emotionally or financially to raise a child on her own. Without legalized abortion women will risk their life to have the freedom to make decisions about their bodies and the way they live their own lives.
Prior to 1821 abortion was legal in all 50 states. In 1821 Connecticut was the first state to ban abortion. The text is made up of two pieces the first is the statute from the bylaws of the State of Connecticut from 1821 which banned abortions. The second is the Comstock Laws of 1873, which was the first federal law to address abortion. This Act criminalized usage of the U.S Postal Service to send items related to abortion.
“Mary Jo” 60″ x 37″ Ink on panel
“Ash” rediscovered her sexuality while in college and finally made the choice to come out with the support of her sister. Since then she has become a speaker, activist and advocate of the LGBTQ community.
The text is Executive Order 10450 from 1953 that used broad language to ban homosexuals from working in the federal government notably the armed services. The Executive Order was part of a larger movement that included mass firings in the 1950’s and was referred to as the “Lavender Scare” which was discrimination based on sexual orientation. The “Lavender Scare” worked in parallel with the “Red Scare” of the same time period that targeted communism in the United States.
“ash” 60″ x 37″ Ink on panel