PAINTINGS 1994 - 2008
FIFTY YEARS ARTMAKING
A BRIEF HISTORY
THE DISASTERS OF
POSTCARDS FROM CAMP
"Postcards from Camp" is a multi-painting work that considers many aspects of the Japanese American experience. It is the most personal of Ben Sakoguchi's efforts, motivated by the deaths of his parents in the 1990's.
Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive order 9066, which allowed 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese descent to be forcibly relocated to guarded camps at remote sites in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.
Two-thirds of the internees were American citizens by birth and some were even World War I veterans. They had committed no wrong and were imprisoned without due process of law. Sakoguchi was held in a camp along with his family for the duration of World War II.
In painting "Postcards from Camp," Sakoguchi relied on family photos to verify childhood recollections. He borrowed images that had been recorded by military, civilian and internee photographers. He referred to documents, gathered firsthand accounts, and sought out examples of social and political attitudes that were published at the time.
At various stages of completion, "Postcards from Camp" has been exhibited at several schools, the National Japanese American Historical Society in San Francisco, and in Washington D.C. at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
The work dates from 1999 to 2001. Now nearly finished, it consists of 80 paintings, acrylic on canvas, 11 inches x 16 inches.
(click on images to see each group)
[Fifty Years Artmaking]
[A Brief History of Slavery]
[The Unauthorized History of Baseball]
[Orange Crate Label Series]
[The Disasters of War]
[Postcards from Camp]
[Postcards from France]
© 2005, 2006, 2008 Ben Sakoguchi