Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Art, Culture & Identity Past Events


Saturday, December 17, 2016
2:00 PM

Uprooted Lecture and Panel Discussion


Exhibition curator Morgen Young will moderate a panel discussion with Nisei James Tanaka, Tohoru Isobe, and Albert Komatsu, who will provide firsthand accounts of living and working in the farm labor camps. Young will also provide insights into the creation of the farm labor program, the national need for sugar beet labor, and Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographer Russell Lee, whose documentation of the camps is featured in Uprooted.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Image: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection, LC-USF34-073890-D.

Sunday, October 2, 2016
2:00 PM

Staged Reading—Reservoir Dogs



In this unique staged reading, an all-APIA female cast will perform Quentin Tarantino’s classic crime drama, Reservoir Dogs.

As a response to the controversial practice of “whitewashing” in Hollywood, in which non-white roles are given to Caucasian actors, No Shortage of Asian Talent (NSAT) was formed to create an outlet for up-and-coming APIA actors and their audiences, and to show Hollywood that there is no shortage of APIA talent, as its practices might have the public believe. Last year, NSAT launched a staged reading series in which APIA actors perform in well-known roles that they normally wouldn’t be considered for. The series also allows emerging directors the opportunity to develop their craft and work with actors on a small scale.

This all-female APIA performance of Reservoir Dogs follows NSAT’s debut event, an all-male APIA reading of Glengarry Glen Ross. Please note Reservoir Dogs contains strong language.

Admission is “Pay What You Wish” this day. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Presented by No Shortage of Asian Talent (NSAT).

Saturday, September 10, 2016
2:00 PM

Tatau Panel Discussion and Catalog Signing


Artists featured in Tatau: Marks of Polynesia—including Sulu‘ape Steve Looney, Sulu‘ape Si‘i Liufau, Fred Frost, and Alipate Fetuli—will discuss their work. Moderated by curator Takahiro “Ryudaibori” Kitamura. Catalog signing to follow.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Exhibition catalog available at the JANM Store.

Image: Tattoo by Sulu‘ape Si‘i Liufau. Photo by John Agcaoili.

In conjunction with the exhibition Tatau: Marks of Polynesia
Sunday, August 21, 2016
2:00 PM—5:00 PM

Dramatic Reading—Death of a Salesman


Arthur Miller’s iconic play revolves around traveling salesman Willy Loman, who cannot understand how he has failed to achieve success and happiness. The probing drama reveals how Loman’s relentless quest for the “American Dream” has kept him alienated from his wife, his sons, and his friends. A thrilling and deeply revelatory tragedy, Death of a Salesman is an enduring classic of American theater.

This unique staged reading, directed by Michael Miraula and produced by Tadamori Yagi, will feature a predominantly Asian American cast. Through non-traditional casting choices, the reading will attempt to explore minority relations within the larger context of mainstream white America in the late 1950s.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Saturday, August 20, 2016
2:00 PM

Above the Fold Artist Lecture: Origami as a Language of Contemporary Design


Exhibiting artist Paul Jackson will discuss the growing influence of origami in contemporary design practice, from fashion to architecture. Using examples from around the world and from his many years of teaching design, Jackson will demonstrate how, in recent years, origami principles have been applied to materials other than paper, such as fabric, leather, plastic, and wood. He will offer reasons for this interest in origami, identify current trends, and suggest directions for the future. The lecture will be followed by a signing with the artist.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are strongly recommended using the link below.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In conjunction with the exhibition Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami
Saturday, July 16, 2016
2:00 PM

Above the Fold Lecture by Robert Lang



The last 15 years have been witness to a revolution in the application of mathematical techniques to origami, the centuries-old Japanese art of paper-folding. Exhibiting artist Robert J. Lang is recognized as one of the foremost origami artists in the world as well as a pioneer in computational origami and the development of formal design algorithms for folding.

In this talk, he will describe how geometric concepts led to the solution of a broad class of origami folding problems—specifically, the problem of efficiently folding a shape with an arbitrary number and arrangement of flaps—and, along the way, enabling origami designs of mind-blowing complexity and realism. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems—Lang will present examples of how origami has enabled safer airbags, Brobdingnagian space telescopes, and more.

Free with museum admission.

This program is sold out. To be placed on a waitlist, please email

Presented with support from the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles.

Photo: Robert Lang, Pentasia, 2014. Photo courtesy of the artist.

In conjunction with the exhibition Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami



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