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  • Oxnard Madame (1961)

    Matsumi "Mike" Kanemitsu

    This lithograph, created during a residency at Tamarind Workshop, was inspired by a story Kanemitsu heard on a drive up the coast toward Santa Barbara about a madame who ran a prostitution ring in Oxnard. The madame, who was African American, was extremely successful and connected but was ultimately arrested. At the time of the arrest, it was discovered that she was a man and had been living as a transvestite for over thirty years. Kanemitsu was intrigued by the idea of this seemingly marginal figure having such power in the community and ultimately upending social conventions in so many different ways. Using this amazing anecdote as a springboard for vaguely anatomical abstractions, Kanemitsu explores the medium of lithography with an ease that comes from his mastery of Japanese sumi ink painting and his embrace of bold, graphic color.

    Lithography (paper and ink) 15 x 18 in
    Gift of Margot H. Leavin, Japanese American National Museum © Japanese American National Museum

  • Harukichi Nakamura (1956)

    Robert A. Nakamura

    Part of a series of photographs documenting the artist's father, a landscaper.

    © Robert A. Nakamura

  • Untitled (Musical Performance in Los Angeles) (ca.1972)

    Nobuko Miyamoto and Chris Iijima

    © Visual Communications

  • Cover of Gidra (October 1972)

    Unknown Artist

    Gift of Janice Diane Tanaka, Japanese American National Museum © Japanese American National Museum

  • Orange Crate Label Series 1974–81: Less Is More Brand (1974-81)

    Ben Sakoguchi

    Acrylic on canvas 10 x 11 in
    © Ben Sakoguchi

  • Cemetery Monument at Manzanar, California, One of Ten Concentration Camps in the U.S. That Incarcerated Over 120,000 Americans of Japanese Descent During WWII (2009)

    Robert A. Nakamura

    Documentary photograph of Manzanar cemetery monument; relates to Nakamura's seminal experimental and community documentary film Manzanar.

    © Robert A. Nakamura

  • Performance Still from Ghost in the Machine (1981)

    Linda Nishio

    Photograph by Linda Ennis

  • Orange Crate Label Series 1974-81: WWIII Brand (1974-81)

    Ben Sakoguchi

    Acrylic on canvas 10 x 11 in
    © Ben Sakoguchi

  • Redress/Reparations/Little Tokyo (1983)

    Qris Yamashita

    Redress for Japanese American Inernment during WWII

    Silkscreen poster 30 1/4 x 22 3/4 in
    Loan from the artist © Qris Yamashita

Japanese American National Museum

Drawing the Line: Japanese American Art, Design, and Activism in Post-War Los Angeles

Drawing the Line is an unprecedented survey of the dynamic and diverse Japanese American contributions to the visual landscape of L.A. in the period following World War II. Works of art and historic documents—together with texts, images, and video clips from extensive oral histories—will illustrate the delicate line that exists between form and function. The breadth of the work represented in the exhibition will reveal an intriguing narrative about the impact of ethnicity and race on Southern California.
10/15/2011 02/19/2012
Japanese American National Museum
369 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012