Topaz Farm Products
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Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee
Unframed stretched canvas. Image of still life of squash and melon. The colors are yellow, green and gray.
Signed, LR: Hisako Hibi / Sept 1944 - Topaz ; BACK: Tribute to Topaz Agricultural Department They provided us with the fresh vegetables They cultivated the Desert Land in a short time to Produce the Fresh Vegetables
This painting is another still life work done by Hisako Hibi in which she featured the vegetables grown by the Topaz Agricultural Department. Unlike most of her other still life paintings of this period, here Hibi does not include any flowers in the arrangement. Situated on a tray, a grouping of green melons and corn are punctuated by bright yellow squash. As in her other still life paintings Hibi seems to be experimenting with a compositional style inspired by Cezanne. The tray seems to be tipping upwards so that the vegetables appear to be about to slide off the table. Hibi had a deep appreciation for these vegetables and the work of the Agricultural Department. Such vegetables helped supplement the often mediocre meals offered in Topaz. The ability to incorporate these items into their diet allowed internees to assert a sense of control over their camp conditions. Over and again Hibi reiterated her acknowledgement of the importance of this seemingly benign contribution to the community of internees.
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