Japanese American National Museum
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Autumn Leaves, Melons and Vegetables

Hibi, Hisako [ bio ]

Autumn Leaves, Melons and Vegetables
Enlarge Image (87.8KB)

H: 22 in, W: 18 in

Topaz, Utah, September 1944


Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee


Unframed stretched canvas. Image of still life with melons and turnips and leaves. The colors are red, and green and blue.

Signed, LL: Hisako Hibi / Sept 1944 ; BACK: a friend bought me these colorful leaves Topaz Sept 1944 Topaz, Utah

Hisako Hibi was fond of painting the vegetables and flowers grown in Topaz concentration camp. This still life work incorporates autumn leaves, turnips, and other vegetables. According to the inscription on the back the leaves were given to Hibi by a friend. These kind of leaves were most likely not available in Topaz itself and was possibly sent to Hibi by a friend outside of camp. The arrangement of vegetables and leaves seem to be on top of a grey table; however, the lack of depth makes the table edge ambiguous. The vegetables, thus, seem to be almost sliding off the picture plane. This is possibly due to the heavy influence that Cezanne had on Hibi at this point in her career. Cezanne's still life paintings intentionally depicted the perspective slightly askew, so that objects often appeared as though about to fall off the surface. Hibi's painting seems to be an experimentation with the kind of still life works created by Cezanne.

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