Jerry Takigawa’s Balancing Cultures presents a multi award-winning photography series about the artist’s family’s experience with the WWII American concentration camps. This project offered an opportunity to confront the racism perpetrated on the Japanese sanctioned by President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, issued on February 19, 1942. That event resulted in the incarceration of over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, two thirds of them American citizens. Awakened by a discovery of old family photographs taken in an Arkansas concentration camp, Takigawa was compelled to speak out with compassion and in contrast to his parent’s silence. He created a visual journey through collaged photographs using artifacts, documents, and memories, resulting in a distinctive telling of one family’s journey from immigration to incarceration, and re-assimilation. Today, we see renewed violence against Asian Americans and Balancing Cultures is a reminder that racism, hysteria, and economic exploitation are ubiquitous forces underpinning the social, political, and environmental landscape we face today.
Jerry Takigawa was the winner of the First Annual Foto Forum Santa Fe Photography Award in 2021
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