Japanese American National Museum
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Western sky

Hibi, Hisako [ bio ]

Western sky
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H: 16 in, W: 20 in

Topaz, Utah, July 1945


Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee


Unframed, stretched canvas. Image of red sky with clouds, 2 mountain peaks, portions of 3 barracks with 2 to 3 people standing between them.

Signed LR: Hisako Hibi / July 1945 ; BACK: Sunset

The title of this painting, "Western Sky" informs us that this is a depiction of a sun setting on the Topaz concentration camp. The soft outline of the sun is barely discernible as it falls below the crevice of the abstracted mountain range. Hibi uses bright oranges, reds and yellows to draw attention to this dramatic sky. Three barracks lie below but the focus is clearly on the sunset. The sky predominates the scene, taking up most of the canvas. Even the two figures present in the painting are diminished in size, adding to the sense of the grandeur of nature. The person at the left appears to be staring up at the sky as well. Hisako Hibi was certainly interested in landscape painting during this period. This work is similar to others from this collection in that it exhibits a concern with depicting the outdoors at different times of day in order to capture the brilliance of nature.

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Collections Management & Access Unit at the Japanese American National Museum (



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