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The third winter in Topaz

Hibi, Hisako [ bio ]

The third winter in Topaz
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H: 16 in, W: 20 in

Topaz, Utah, January 1944


Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee


Unframed, stretched canvas.

Image of a lone figure walking down street between two rows of snow covered barracks receding into distance in Topaz concentration camps. Barracks reced on left and right into distance from one point perspective. Figure walks along sidewalk, left, next to row of utility poles. Smoke rises from chimneys from right row.

Signed, LL: Hisako Hibi / Jan 1944 ; BACK: The third Winter in Topaz, Utah Jan 1944

In this painting Hisako Hibi seems to have resolved some of the compositional and perspectival issues she was grappling with in other works. She gives us a view of the barracks from a sharp profile, so that the edges of the roofs recede into space. The electrical poles echo the row of barracks providing a kind of pathway between the poles and buildings. Snow covers the rooftops and ground completely. The scene is a quiet one with only three lone figures dotting the landscape. Smoke rises from the chimneys of buildings at the right, perhaps hinting at the unseen activity within the barracks.

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