Media Arts Center Productions

Watase Media Arts Center Productions

Productions

Rhythm and Rice

Rhythm and Rice

A look at the longtime, ongoing New Year’s mochitsuki tradition in Livingston, CA.

(2020 / 8 minutes)

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Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience

Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience

The work of Japanese American artists/designers Ruth Asawa, George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi, S. Neil Fujita, and Gyo Obata permeated American postwar culture. While these second generation Japanese American artists have been celebrated, less-discussed is the powerful effect their World War II incarceration—a period of intense hardship and discrimination—had on their lives and art.

(2019 / 56 minutes)

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Masters of Modern Design: Kay Sekimachi

Masters of Modern Design: Kay Sekimachi

Known as the “weaver’s weaver,” artist Kay Sekimachi is a pioneer in the textile arts. Her embrace of unconventional materials helped to elevate weaving from “craft” to “art.”

(2019 / 8 minutes)

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Madame Fujima Kansuma

Madame Fujima Kansuma

Madame Fujima Kansuma is a celebrated Japanese American kabuki dancer and teacher whose career began in the early 1940s and spanned decades. This documentary was produced in conjunction with her centennial birthday celebration.

(2018 / 6 minutes)

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In the Clutches of Kaiju

In the Clutches of Kaiju

A portrait of the artist/toy collector Mark Nagata produced for the Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys exhibition.

(2018 / 7 minutes)

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Nagata 360: A Collecting Mind (2018)

Nagata 360: A Collecting Mind

A virtual reality view of artist Mark Nagata’s studio—get a glimpse into the habitual details of a toy collector and maker and even watch him make a toy in front of your eyes!

(2018 / 4 minutes)

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Tokio Story

Tokio Story

An experiment in how a memory is remembered—a reminiscence of the former floral shop, Tokio Florist.

(2018 / 8 minutes)

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Our Man in Tokyo (The Ballad of Shin Miyata)

Our Man in Tokyo (The Ballad of Shin Miyata)

A short documentary about the struggles and obsessions of Shin Miyata, a Tokyo-based record label owner and promoter who specializes in the difficult task of distributing Chicano music in Japan.

(2018 / 18 minutes)

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Transpacific Borderlands:The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo

Transpacific Borderlands Artist Profiles

Profile videos of the 13 artists featured in the Transpacific Borderlands exhibition.

(2017 / 3–4 minutes each)

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Photography by J.T. Sata

Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920–1940

Profile videos of Issei photographers J.T. Sata, Toyo Miyatake, Ichiro “Eddie” Itani, Shigemi Uyeda, and T.K. Shindo produced for the Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920–1940 exhibition.

(2016 / 2–3 minutes each)

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Before They Were Heroes

Before They Were Heroes: Sus Ito’s World War II Images

Sus Ito’s photographs were taken while he served as a member of the 442nd RCT’s 522nd Field Artillery Battalion. These rare and breathtaking images capture in humble detail the daily lives of a group of young Japanese American soldiers.

(2015 / 6 minutes)

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Dodgers: Brotherhood of the Game - Chan Ho Park

Dodgers: Brotherhood of the Game

Profile videos of Jackie Robinson, Fernando Valenzuela, Chan Ho Park, Hideo Nomo, and Tommy Lasorda produced for the Dodgers: Brotherhood of the Game exhibition.

(2014 / 2–6 minutes each)

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Big Drum: Taiko in the U.S. still - TAIKOPROJECT

Big Drum: Taiko in the United States

Various pieces produced for the Big Drum: Taiko in the United States exhibition feature America’s taiko pioneers and documents—through interviews and rare film and video footage—the ongoing transformation of this dynamic performing art.

(2005 / 8–25 minutes each)

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9066 to 9/11

9066 to 9/11

9066 to 9/11 focuses on the parallels between the post-September 11 treatment of Arab Americans and Muslims in this country with treatment of Japanese Americans after the start of World War II.

(2004 / 21 minutes)

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Crossroads: Boyle Heights

Crossroads: Boyle Heights

Through the stories of past and present neighborhood residents, this film explores how the experiences and memories of many generations of Angelenos intersect in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights.

(2002 / 28 minutes)

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Words, Weavings, and Songs

Words, Weavings & Songs

Wakako Yamauchi, Momo Nagano, and Mary Nomura were innocent teenagers when they were sent to concentration camps during World War II. Behind barbed wire, their creative spirits remained undaunted—their lives fortified by art, music, and literature.

(2002 / 34 minutes)

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Looking Like the Enemy

Looking Like the Enemy

They were American born and bred yet they had the face of the enemy. Spanning generations and wars, Looking Like the Enemy is a bold and daring exploration into the often horrifying yet always ironic predicaments faced by American soldiers of Asian descent who fought in World War II, the Korean and the Vietnam wars.

(1996 / 53 minutes)

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More productions coming soon!

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