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Water tank

Hibi, Hisako [ bio ]

Water tank
Enlarge Image (87.8KB)

painting
H: 20 in, W: 24 in
oil
canvas

Topaz, Utah, September 1944

(96.601.29)

Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee

Description

Unframed stretched canvas. Image of a child walking down a sidewalk with barracks and sunflowers. There is a water tank in the background.

Inscription
Signed, LL: Hisako Hibi / Sept 1944

History
Topaz concentration camp received its water through a hastily constructed plumbing system. The water tanks located just beyond the confines of the camp were the major supply source. Despite the centrality of the water tank in this painting and the reference to it in the title, the tank itself does not catch the viewer's eye. Instead, the brightly colored sunflowers which line the outside of the two barracks portrayed here draw the viewer's attention. Hibi often remarked on the fact that sunflowers were among the few plants that could be grown in the desert climate. As a way to try and beautify the otherwise drab landscape of Topaz, internees began to plant vegetables, trees and flowers around their barracks. A child appears to walk alone along the gravel paths also created by the internees.

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Collections Management & Access Unit at the Japanese American National Museum (collections@janm.org).

 

 

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