Wendy Maruyama: Executive Order 9066: The Tag Project

When 1 Mar 2014 - 24 May 2014
Where San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
560 South First Street
San Jose, CA 95113
United States
Enquiry (408) 283-8155

Opening Reception: Friday, March 14
In Conversation with the Artist: Thursday, March 20, 7-9pm
Panel Discussion: Wednesday, May 14, 7-9pm
Walking Tour of Japantown San Jose: Saturday, March 29/ April 19/ May 10, 2-3pm

Artist Wendy Maruyama’s celebrated large-scale sculptural installation honoring 120,000 Japanese-Americans interned during WWII.

Presented in collaboration with ArtObjectGallery and the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj), this multi-venue exhibition explores the complex story of the Japanese-American internment. This is the fifth presentation of this exhibition which premiered in May 2012 at San Diego State University. The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston presented the exhibition in the fall of 2012 and has organized the show’s traveling schedule to Arizona and Northern California.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of tens of thousands of American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry. Wendy Maruyama, a third generation Japanese-American and highly regarded educator and artist/furniture maker based in San Diego, has created a compelling body of work examining this period in American history. The exhibition includes three integrated parts: Executive Order 9066, The Tag Project, and an exhibition of historical artifacts.

Wendy Maruyama: Executive Order 9066: The Tag Project: presented at the ICA. Each interned citizen wore a paper identification tag, which inspired Maruyama to embark on the project.  Enlisting help from hundreds of volunteers across the country, Maruyama recreated each tag – 120,000 – to represent every person who was sent to one of 10 internment camps. Using the tags, the artist constructed 10 large-scale sculptures that pay homage to each of the camps. Suspended from the ceiling to a height of six inches off the floor, the towering forms create a powerful and emotional impact, conveying to the viewer the sheer number of people that were incarcerated and the magnitude of this government initiative.

Wendy Maruyama: Executive Order: 9066: Presented at ArtObjectGallery. This exhibition features a series of wall-mounted cabinets and sculptures created by Wendy Maruyama that enshrine elements of life in the internment camps.  The pieces integrate photo transfers based on the documentary photographs of Dorothea Lange and Toyo Miyatake in conjunction with materials such as barbed wire, tar paper and domestic objects.

Executive Order 9066: Memories and Artifacts: Presented at JAMsj. This exhibition highlights artifacts from the museum’s permanent collection that reveal the historical events surrounding the forced incarceration of tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

“Executive Order 9066 not only reminds us of a dark time in our nation’s history but also provides context for the current conversation regarding immigration reform, racial profiling and privacy laws,” says Cathy Kimball, ICA Executive Director.  “We’re honored to partner with JAMsj to lend historical perspective to their contemporary presentation as well as ArtObjectGallery to showcase sculptures that incorporate artifacts from the camps.”

Wendy Maruyama: Executive Order 9066: The Tag Project is organized by The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, Massachusetts, and funded in part by the Windgate Charitable Foundation. The Tag Project is generously supported in part by Applied Materials, the Farrington Historical Foundation, and the ICA Director’s Circle.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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