Wendy Maruyama: Executive Order 9066

Wendy Maruyama: Executive Order 9066
Museum of Craft & Design
San Francisco, CA
October 4, 2014-January 4, 2015

 

Work by Wendy Maruyama.
Work by Wendy Maruyama.

Organized by the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, Massachusetts, the Museum of Craft and Design is the final stop of this traveling exhibition by Furniture Society AOD recipient, Wendy Maruyama.  For information about the museum, please visit their website here.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of tens of thousands of American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry.  Wendy Maruyama, a third generation Japanese-American and highly regarded artist/furniture maker based in San Diego, has created a compelling body of work examining this period in American history.

Wendy Maruyama: Executive Order 9066 includes three integrated parts: the Tag Project, Executive Order 9066 and a selection of historical artifacts.

The Tag Project consists of 120,000 replicas of the paper identification tags that internees were forced to wear when they were being relocated. The tags are grouped into ten sculptural bundles and suspended from the ceiling, each bundle represents one of the camps.  They evoke a powerful sense of the humiliation endured by the internees and the sheer numbers of those displaced.

Executive Order 9066 involves a series of wall-mounted cabinets and sculptures referencing themes common in the interment camps. Maruyama’s pieces integrate photo transfers based on the documentary photographs of Dorothea Lange and Toyo Miyatake in conjunction with materials such as barbed wire, tarpaper and domestic objects.

Maruyama’s addition of actual objects owned or made by the internees brings an intensely personal awareness to the impact of Executive Order 9066.  Included objects range from actual suitcases used by families during their relocation to an array of items made from available materials in the camps.