The Art of Gaman

SF Museum of Craft and Folk Art
The Art of Gaman
Nov 2, 2006 – Feb 25, 2007

"Based on the book The Art of Gaman (Ten Speed Press) by Delphine Hirasuna, this exhibition features arts and crafts—both decorative and essential—made by Japanese Americans incarcerated in U.S. internment camps during World War II. Most of the items are on loan from former internees and their families and are being shown in public for the first time. The craftsmanship and originality of the internees’ work make the show an inspirational experience. Poignant to view, the objects aptly capture the essence of gaman, which means “to endure the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.”

“Living History”
Public Program

Thursday, December 7, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

"The attack on Pearl Harbor 65 years ago brought its own sorrow and pain to the 120,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast. Delphine Hirasuna moderates a panel of former internees who lived through the harrowing days that led to the forced removal from their homes and exile in remote concentration camps. Free to members; $5 for nonmembers."

Day of Remembrance
Monday, February 19, 2007

"The Museum will offer free admission from 11 am – 5 pm to commemorate the signing of Executive Order #9066, which called for the internment of anyone of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast and was carried out from the Presidio in San Francisco."

[Museum of Craft and Folk Art and Contra Costa Times, via Mariko]

"They gathered shells from dry lake beds and pieced them together into tiny floral corsages. They gathered abandoned animal traps, softened the metal in coal-burning stoves, and made carving tools. They unraveled the waxy string of an onion sack and wove it into baskets.

Then, when the Japanese-Americans were released from the bleak internment camps where they spent much of World War II, they found their way home, packed the art and crafts away, and got on with their lives.

More than 60 years later, the art created behind barbed-wire fences, rediscovered by children and grandchildren, is on display as a bittersweet reminder of the wartime internment."

Pictured: The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps 1942-1946. Copyright © 2005 by Delphine Hirasuna, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Terry Heffernan.
(Image / Page)
Carved Stone Teapot / 36
Carved Birds / 76

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