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With mother

Hibi, Hisako [ bio ]

With mother
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H: 16 in, W: 20 in

Topaz, Utah, February 1944


Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee


Unframed, stretched canvas.

Image of a woman and child holding hands as they walk in open area against backdrop of barracks and snow covered mountains at Topaz concentration camp, Utah. Mother and child walk in profile toward right. A solitary barren tree stands at midground right. Row of barracks in background; snow capped mountains rise in background.

Signed, LL: Hisako Hibi / Feb 1944

The title of this painting by Hisako Hibi is "With Mother" emphasizing the perspective of the young child in the image. Hibi was particularly attuned to the effect of camp life on the children and mothers. In this painting she situates the figures in the foreground with the barracks and mountain range a far distance behind them. They appear somewhat separated from the rest of camp because of the distance and their focus on the path before them. The ground is a slushy white and brown, reflecting the sticky mud which was created by the mixture of melting snow with the Topaz soil. An almost lifeless tree stands in the background, echoing the solitariness of the child and mother within the landscape.

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