29June -19 November 2017
Alphawood Gallery has partnered with the Japanese American Service Committee (JASC) to produce the Gallery’s first original exhibition,Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties. This exhibition examines a dark episode in U.S. history when, in the name of national security, the government incarcerated 120,000 citizens and legal residents during World War II without due process or other constitutional protections to which they were entitled. Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, set in motion the forced removal and imprisonment of all people of Japanese ancestry living on or near the West Coast. During this 75th anniversary year of the executive order, we look back at this shameful past to learn lessons for our present and future in the face of new challenges encouraged by fearmongering and racism at the highest levels of government.
Then They Came for Me presents this historical event from multiple perspectives. In the exhibition two of Tajiri's sculptures are presented together with powerful images from the book Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II by Chicago-based photo historians Richard Cahan and Michael Williams. The exhibition features works by renowned American photographers Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams and others documenting the eviction of Japanese Americans from their homes and their subsequent lives in incarceration camps.
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