Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata's Journey through the World of Japanese Toys
September 15, 2018 - March 24, 2019
In California in the 1970s, Mark Nagata was living an all-American childhood when an aunt and uncle serving on a US military base in Japan sent him a box filled with some of that country’s most popular toys. They were kaiju and heroes, and these gifts inspired him to zealously collect vintage Japanese vinyl toys over the course of his entire life.
Kaiju translates to “strange creature” in English but has come to mean “giant monster” referring to the creatures like Godzilla and Mothra that inhabited the postwar movie and television screens of Japan. The advent of these monsters brought about the creation of characters to combat them—hence the emergence of pop-culture heroes like Ultraman and Kamen Rider.
Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys showcases hundreds of dazzling vintage and contemporary Japanese vinyl toys, providing a feast for the eyes and the imagination.
hapa.me – 15 years of the hapa project
April 7 - October 28, 2018
Artist Kip Fulbeck continues his project, begun in 2001, of photographing persons who identify as “hapa”—of mixed Asian/Pacific Islander descent—as a means of promoting awareness and positive acceptance of multiracial identity. As a follow-up to kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa, his groundbreaking 2006 exhibition, hapa.me pairs the photographs and statements from that exhibition with contemporary portraits of the same individuals and newly written statements, showing not only their physical changes in the ensuing years, but also changes in their perspectives and outlooks on the world.
In addition, hapa.me includes portraits of hundreds of new participants and an interactive section where viewers can join the community by having their portrait taken and writing their own personal statement.
Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Sadako Sasaki was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city. When she was twelve, she contracted leukemia and was hospitalized. One of her roommates at the hospital told her about the Japanese belief that anyone who folds one thousand cranes would be granted a wish, so Sadako began folding cranes with the hope of recovering from her disease. Sadly, although she folded 1,300 cranes, she died on October 25, 1955.
Incorporating hundreds of objects, documents, and photographs collected by the Japanese American National Museum, this exhibition chronicles 130 years of Japanese American history, beginning with the early days of the Issei pioneers through the World War II incarceration to the present.