San Francisco, February 1— Vintage family photos and black and white home movies crowded with joyful picnics, seaside fun, prosperous storefronts, tidy homes: the typical California dream. This dream was uprooted by the signing of Executive Order 9066 in 1942, which resulted in the incarceration of 120,000 American Japanese during WWII. From Feb. 19 – Feb. 26, 2017, the Asian Art Museum will screen When Rabbit Left the Moon, a video elegy by award-winning filmmaker Emiko Omori to commemorate the 75th anniversary of this dark chapter in American history — a chapter with lessons that continue to resonate today.
Omori experienced the devastating effects of forced relocation herself when she was transported to the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona as a child. Her new work draws in part on the archival imagery of the Japanese American concentration camps first used in her award-winning 1999 documentary Rabbit in the Moon. For this year’s important milestone, Omori has crafted an original visual “poem” that will play during the weeklong anniversary as a short film in a special museum gallery, complete with additional information about Executive Order 9066, its affects, and its afterlife.
Omori describes When Rabbit Left the Moon as “an homage to the generation of my parents, the Issei [first generation], to the vibrant prewar American Japanese community that never recovered from that violation, to the hopes and dreams that were torn away, and to the legacy of suffering that haunts us. Sorting this out has taken me a long time — almost 75 years.”
Artist Emiko Omori will also appear for a dedicated panel discussion with fellow interned American Japanese on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 1-3PM at the museum. Participants include Omori’s sister Chizu Omori, psychiatrist Satsuki Ina, and artist Masako Takahashi. Moderated by Asian Art Museum deputy director for arts and programs Rob Mintz, the panel is an opportunity for participants to share thoughts on what their experiences, and the prejudices they faced, offer all Americans today.
The Asian Art Museum–Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures from throughout Asia spanning 6,000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the Asian Art Museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity and new thinking.
Information: 415.581.3500 or www.asianart.org
Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Hours: The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM. Hours are extended on Thursdays until 9 PM through September. Closed Mondays, as well as New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
General Admission: FREE for museum members, $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+), college students with ID, and youth (13–17). FREE for children under 12 and SFUSD students with ID. General admission is FREE to all on Target First Free Sundays (the first Sunday of every month). On Thursday evenings, Feb.23 – Sep.28, 2017, 5-9 PM, $10 general admission.
Access: The Asian Art Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information regarding access: 415.581.3598; TDD:415.861.2035.
Never miss a moment: @asianartmuseum