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Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee
Unframed, stretched canvas.
Image of a couple taking a stroll in an open area against backdrop of a watch tower and mountain at Topaz concentration camp, Utah. The couple stand with bowed heads on a light hued rectangular area in foreground looking at a single sprouting plant at right. Darker tones dominate background; watchtower and utility pole on far right midground; intervening hills span midground; angular mountain rises in distance.
Signed, BL: Hisako Hibi/March 1944
All of the World War II concentration camps in the United States were located in remote, deserted areas often with severe weather conditions. Topaz was especially characterized by its drab, lifeless landscape. The alkaline soil of the desert could sustain few types of plants and flowers. In this portrait of a couple taking a stroll Hisako Hibi underlines the empty, barren environment of the area. A man and woman stand together in a clearing. The gem-like mountain range rises behind them. Although Hibi's palette appears brighter than in some of her other works, the landscape remains relatively lifeless. The guard tower at the left functions as a reminder that the context of the work is still that of Topaz concentration camp. The couple stands a few feet from a single shoot that has sprouted in the desert soil. They almost appear to be paying their respects to this tiny plant, due to their posture and bowed heads.
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