This unprecedented exhibition reintroduces three trailblazing Japanese American artists of the pre–World War II generation.
Pictures of Belonging: Miki Hayakawa, Hisako Hibi, and Miné Okubo brings together over ninety works by three pioneering Japanese American artists from the pre–World War II era. Despite long careers and critical acclaim, Miki Hayakawa, Hisako Hibi, and Miné Okubo have largely been overlooked in traditional American art history. This groundbreaking exhibition reintroduces their work and explores their deep connections with each other for the first time.
Through three chronological sections, the exhibition traces the careers of these artists from the 1920s to the 1990s. "Faces & Communities" presents pre–World War II portraiture and figurative works, while "Belongings & (dis)Locations" showcases landscapes and still lifes from the prewar and wartime periods. The final section, "Explorations & Rediscoveries," features postwar abstractions. Pictures of Belonging foregrounds the rich and heterogeneous oeuvres of Hayakawa, Hibi, and Okubo, which spanned eight decades and four states, highlighting the diverse communities in which these trailblazing artists flourished before, during, and after World War II. Published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name, this book shifts the spotlight from the injustice and tragedy of Japanese American incarceration toward a broader picture of the so-called American experience through the compelling, divergent lives and artworks of these women of Japanese descent.
Published by the Japanese American National Museum in association with University of California Press and with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and Bank of America's Global Arts & Heritage program.
February 24 to June 30, 2024, at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah
November 15, 2024, to August 17, 2025, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, District of Columbia
October 2, 2025, to January 4, 2026, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
February 5, 2026, to April 19, 2026, at the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, California
Fall 2026 at the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California