Past But Never Forgotten, 2017

Past But Never Forgotten

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, a mass hysteria quickly spread throughout the United States of America. The constitutional rights were taken away from Americans of Japanese descent including many of my family members. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which authorized the Secretary of War to prescribe military areas specifically for Japanese Americans to be relocated to concentration camps throughout the United States.

Past but Never Forgotten is a multi-media installation consisting of a wooden structure modeled after the fences that surrounded the camp sites. The projections are a combination of images of my family members who were incarcerated themselves, and also images from various photo archives. This installation also utilizes performance. I dressed up and reenacted the life of an internee as part of the installation to give viewers a stronger idea of what being incarceration was like. 

With Trump being in presidency, during this time more than ever we need to remember to "Never Forget". Many Japanese Americans including my family had their freedom and rights as American citizens stripped away from them. They were betrayed by the government which caused my grandparents to struggle with their cultural identity for a long time after World War II ended. We must continue to fight for our rights as American citizens and remember our history to make sure that such a tragedy does not repeat again.