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Waiting near Topaz high

Hibi, Hisako [ bio ]

Waiting near Topaz high
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H: 16 in, W: 20 in

Topaz, Utah, February 1945


Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee


Unframed, stretched canvas.

Image of a woman leaning against a utility pole in courtyard near Topaz High School at Topaz concentration camp, Utah. On left side, woman leans casually against utility pole with her hands in her coat pockets and one leg crossed over the other. There is a large open area in foreground. Wall of barracks extends from right center edge to center top. A dark figure walks in front of a two storey building, possibly an auditorium, in background right.

Signed, LR: Hisako Hibi / Feb 1945

Hisako Hibi's paintings from this period can be characterized, in part, for their experimentation with composition. In this work she depicts a building at a sharp angle which is used to create a sense of diagonal recession into space. The building at the left interrupts the direction of the green building and forms another diagonal movement into depth. The electrical pole at the right and the woman leaning against it function as anchors in the expanse of field in the foreground. We are positioned above ground level, looking slightly down upon this scene, yet we are unable to see beyond the buildings. The woman in the foreground stands casually, resting against the pole with her feet crossed at the ankles. The building at the left is presumably the high school auditorium. The green building at the right may also be part of Topaz High School, although Hibi is not explicit about the identification of the structures.

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