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A man in contemplation

Hibi, Hisako [ bio ]

A man in contemplation
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H: 22 in, W: 26 in

Topaz, Utah, July 1944


Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee


Unframed stretched canvas. Image of a man sitting on the ground by a rock. On the left is a barbed wire fence and a guard tower in the upper corner. There are mountains in the distance.

Signed in caps, LR: Hisako Hibi / July 1944 ; BACK: Middle Summer July 29th 1944 Topaz, Utah It was very hot day, saw many grasshoppers jumping around me--the weeds begin to turn yellow--went to a way out + saw a man in contemplation

Most of Hisako Hibi's camp paintings are characterized by an experimentation with perspective and a focus on the landscape of the camp where she and her family were incarcerated. This painting is no exception to this, with its high horizon line and outdoor setting. A figure sits slumped against a grassy mound near the barbed-wire fence which outlined the perimeter of the Topaz concentration camp. A guard tower can be seen in the distance against the backdrop of the mountain range. The perspective is slightly askew, making the landscape slightly unreadable. The fence, in this case, appears to be much taller than it seems in Hibi's other paintings. The presence of the fence and guard tower disrupts the beautiful lushness of the field and the repose of the figure.

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