This event is presented by our JapanPhilly2020 partner, the Fleisher Art Memorial.
The Third Space: Japanese American Resettlement in the Greater Philadelphia Region
August 14 – October 4
Fleisher Art Memorial
719 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
While much has been written on the Japanese American concentration camp experience 1942 – 1945, far less attention has been given to documenting and sharing stories of what happened next, as people began to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of incarceration. Philadelphia became the first major city in the US to welcome Japanese Americans, largely due to the advocacy efforts of several Quaker-led organizations.
Although Japanese Americans experienced a fairly positive reception in Philadelphia, generations of people were traumatized by the experience. Art played an important role in navigating both the wartime incarceration and subsequent resettlement as Japanese Americans processed and, in some cases, documented their experiences through visual art and crafts. This exhibit will share the stories of the individuals and families who underwent the resettlement experience through the art objects they created.
The exhibit also includes a selection of photographs commissioned by the War Relocation Authority, and other print materials that actively propagandized Japanese American resettlement into the Philadelphia region experience as part of a necessary sacrifice during time of war. Many of the Japanese Americans who currently live and work in the region are descendants of individuals who were directly impacted by the camp experience and subsequent resettlement. Thus the last section of the exhibit interprets inter-generational trauma through contemporary works by local Japanese American artists.