Miné Okubo

Okubo's graphic memoir seems timely even 72 years after it was published. Okubo was one of the  American citizens of Japanese descent, who were placed in "relocation centers" following the bombing of Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066, authorizing the "displacement of people of Japanese ancestry from the Western United States" (vii). Okubo documented her life in these centers thereby giving the world a rare source showing what life was like in the camps, especially since no photography was allowed within the area. Her line drawings with text are extensive (nearly two hundred of them) and the accompanying text is poignant. A must read!

Image: Cover

Image: Cover

Page 12. Image courtesy: http://www.nijomu.com/reviews/citizen-13660-by-mine-okubo/

Page 12. Image courtesy: http://www.nijomu.com/reviews/citizen-13660-by-mine-okubo/

Image: Okubo, Miné,  Citizen 13660.  Page   23

Image: Okubo, Miné, Citizen 13660. Page 23

Image: Okubo, Miné,  Citizen 13660 . Page 53

Image: Okubo, Miné, Citizen 13660. Page 53

Mirada Art Gallery Exhibit

Memorial Day Weekend exhibit by the sea

Gloves and laundry baskets have woven through the warp and weft of my life; sometimes a dominating and exhausting presence, and at others, a comforting and reassuring backdrop. Gloves, the omnipresent and versatile accessory, form the preoccupation of the Gloves series and stand witness to labors of love: caregiving, housekeeping, and artmaking. Representations of laundry baskets mark moments when a daunting heap of laundry to be folded became a welcome place of warmth as my toddler rolled around in it, delighting in the fragrance and feel of freshly laundered fabric. As she grew older, the ‘dunes’ occasionally became a place for congeniality as we folded laundry together, conversing, or in silence. 

The ordinary and the routine hold milestones and memories that make life, and form spaces that have served as a fertile bed for creativity for artists through generations. That’s not all. Irish poet Michael Longley points out that in times of great duress, “sanity itself depends on these banal, commonplace little things.”The art on display is an attempt to celebrate that commonplace, and as Krista Tippet says, “reassert the liveliness of ordinary things.” 

My corner. Starting from the left,  Gloves  Series,  The Only Time I Love My Laundry, Disruption, Hope, Unyielding  (on the table)

My corner. Starting from the left, Gloves Series, The Only Time I Love My Laundry, Disruption, Hope, Unyielding (on the table)

A closer look at the "Gloves" series.

These are a series of one-off prints, starting with the B/W print in the middle. Through the process of erasure, new markings, collage, and paint, the prints show my fascination with gloves as an accessory, both utilitarian and decorative, as well as my preoccupation with labors of love in many forms: caregiving, housekeeping, and artmaking.