Fukunosuke Kusumi: The Art of Looking Back

Julia Shizuyo Popham (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Fukunosuke Kusumi, an artist and Issei, produced over one hundred extant paintings from 1942-1945 limning the Santa Anita and Amache Japanese American concentration camps. After almost 70 years, the paintings were found in his grandchild’s garage, then later donated to the Amache Museum, where, on a summer day, I carefully viewed each one, disoriented by the images’ expressions of melancholy and hope. From portraying internees celebrating the Obon festival just beyond a row of barracks to illustrating friends departing for the Rohwer incarceration camp, Kusumi’s collection speaks to feelings of loss and resilience expressed in resistance.

Part of 11-02 Decolonizing Folklore I, Monday, October 18, 9:30 am–11:00 am