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April 16, 1944-A midnight storm

Hibi, Hisako [ bio ]

April 16, 1944-A midnight storm
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H: 16 in, W: 20 in

Topaz, Utah, April 1944


Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee


Unframed, stretched canvas.

Image of a girl in red holding an open umbrella over her shoulder walks along plank walkway over mud and slush towards barracks at Topaz concentration camp, Utah. Girl faces left as she stands at midground right on walkway that extends across the image. Pile of snow to right of walkway in front of snow covered barracks. Smoke rises from a smokestack.

Signed, LL: Hisako Hibi / March 1944 ; BACK: Midnight Storm--I heard the movement of birds In the morning--It was snowing--April 16th, 1944 all melted away at 4 pm Snow melted Sunny-cloudy

In this painting Hisako Hibi portrays a scene of Topaz concentration camp after a storm. Much of the snow has already melted, creating puddles and a slushy mud ground. A child with an umbrella walks along a plank laid over the slush, presumably to get back to one of the barracks at the left of the painting. The work of shoveling the snow and slush away from the barracks has already been accomplished. In the center of the canvas is a mound of snow and slush as evidence of this work. Hibi creates the sense of muddy ground with a layering of light washes of color. Beneath the plank is a puddle of water, discernible mostly by the reflection of the barrack rooftop on the surface. A large chimney in the background spews a chain of black smoke into the hazy sky.

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