FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 10, 2022
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The Japanese American National Museum Hosts Virtual Program on Issei Artist Wakaji Matsumoto
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) will host the free virtual program, The Story of Wakaji Matsumoto: An Artist in Two Worlds, on Saturday, December 10, 2022 in English and Japanese from 5 p.m.–6:30 p.m. PST (Sunday, December 11, 2022 from 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m. JST). Guests can indicate their language preference during registration.
This virtual program dives into the new online exhibition, Wakaji Matsumoto—An Artist in Two Worlds: Los Angeles and Hiroshima, 1917–1944, which was launched in September 2022. The program includes a conversation about the historic significance of Matsumoto’s work and the story behind the collection. Curator Dennis Reed and Wakaji’s granddaughter, Karen Matsumoto, will be joined by Masami Nishimoto, writer for the Chugoku Shimbun, and others involved with highlighting Masumoto’s work to delve deeper into his photographs and legacy. Reed has curated a previous exhibition at JANM and is best known for rediscovering Japanese American art photographers whose works were lost during the World War II incarceration. Matsumoto is the project liaison for the exhibition. She was executive producer of Honor and Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story, a 2013 documentary about her father which featured her grandfather’s photographs and inspired her to share the collection with a broader public
“This program spotlights the artistic and prolific work of Wakaji in two cities that he called home. Through his photographs we can see the livelihoods of pre-war Japanese farmers in Los Angeles, the origins of Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo, and daily life in pre-war Hiroshima. We look forward to learning about different aspects of Matsumoto’s work from Dennis, Karen, Masami, and others,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO.
About the Online Exhibition
Wakaji Matsumoto—An Artist in Two Worlds: Los Angeles and Hiroshima, 1917–1944 highlights rarely seen early photographs of Los Angeles prior to World War II and of Hiroshima before the US dropped the atomic bomb through the single lens of photographer Wakaji Matsumoto. The exhibition also features essays by Karen Matsumoto, Wakaji’s granddaughter, and Dennis Reed, the curator of the exhibition, a timeline, photo galleries, short documentary videos produced by JANM’s award-winning Watase Media Arts Center, and educational resources. For more information, visit janm.org/wakaji-matsumoto.
About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)
Established in 1985, JANM promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public in 1992, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite while traveling 17 exhibits to venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and to several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America. For more information, visit janm.org or follow us on social media @jamuseum.