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Past Exhibitions

Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II

May 3 - August 31, 2014

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT

Colors of Confinement presents 18 rare Kodachrome photographs taken by Bill Manbo during his incarceration at the Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming in 1943 and 1944. It shatters preconceptions about this episode of injustice by showing it to us in vivid and beautiful color.

Manbo was ahead of his time—while others were shooting in black-and-white, he shot in Kodachrome, a technology then in its infancy. The images are a paradox: vibrant, gorgeous photographs of a bleak historical episode.

Colors of Confinement jars settled understandings of Japanese American incarceration. The images are not only beautiful, they show imprisoned Japanese Americans engaging in both culturally Japanese and culturally American activities, thus expanding many viewers’ appreciation of the range of cultural practices that were common in the camps. Their brilliant color also strips away the sense that these are “historical” photographs; the pictured events look as though they could be happening today. While the images allow greater emotional connection with the pictured subjects than many black-and-white photographs do, they also interrogate and complicate viewers’ common assumptions about the nature of life behind barbed wire.

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For press inquiries, contact mediarelations@janm.org or 213.625.0414.

Past Events

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Special Engagement Closing

events/JANM-Colors-of-Confinement-BillManbo-150px_1.jpg Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in WWII Closes

Read an interview with curator Eric Muller on Discover Nikkei>>

Saturday, August 30, 2014
2:00 PM

Camera in Camp: Bill Manbo's Photographs of Heart Mountain

events/JANM-ColorsOfConfinement-TakeoBillManbo-fig12-050.jpg Historian Jasmine Alinder will give a lecture on photography and Japanese American incarceration that will feature the work of Bill Manbo who was imprisoned in Heart Mountain. Alinder will place Manbo's rare color photographs in the context of work by other famous photographers of that time including Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Carl Iwasaki.

Alinder is author of Moving Images: Photography and the Japanese American Incarceration and contributing author to Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II.

Saturday, May 3, 2014
2:00 PM

Special Engagement Opening

events/JANM-Colors-of-Confinement-BillManbo-150px.jpg Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in WWII Opens

Opens to the public after 2 p.m.

Read an interview with curator Eric Muller on Discover Nikkei>>

Saturday, May 3, 2014
10:30 AM—2:00 PM

Colors of Confinement Member Preview

events/JANM-Colors-of-Confinement-BillManbo-150px_2.jpg Members are invited to a preview of the special engagement, Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in WWII. Author and curator Dr. Eric Muller will present a book talk featuring the rare Kodachrome Heart Mountain camp photographs of Bill Manbo. Light reception to follow. RSVP to memberevents@janm.org or call 213.830.5657.

Read an interview with curator Eric Muller on Discover Nikkei>>

 

 

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