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"Gaman (Persevere)" is a series of paintings begun in 2015. The paintings are of objects in the Wing Luke Museum, done on site. Dolls and furniture handmade in the Minidoka internment camp, retired lion dance heads, luggage brought to the United States or one of two suitcases taken to the internment camps, collected traditional dolls, the Publix Hotel ledger: together these objects tell the story of the Asian-Pacific immigrant experience.
The Japanese word gaman in this context refers to the objects representing times which must be persevered through (such as the Japanese-American internment). The objects are representative of their communities, have themselves persevered and continue to live as educational tools.
I was initially drawn to the variety of objects and their histories and the opportunity to paint "behind the scenes" at the Wing Luke Museum. I painted the objects as I found them in-situ. It was a challenge to work within these constraints.
As an immigrant without many family heirlooms, I am fascinated by these items becoming public heirlooms. These paintings represent my rummaging through the basement and closets to discover and love these dolls and furniture, these giant woks and barber chairs. I enjoyed making these objects visible again through my paintings.
Thank you to the Wing Luke Museum (www.wingluke.org) for their support.
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