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Japanese Canadian artist Kellen Hatanaka tackles challenges of id and the Asian Canadian expertise through a multidisciplinary exercise consisting of painting and sculpture. His most modern work centres about the story of the Vancouver Asahi baseball team which emerged from humble beginnings in 1914 and were energetic until finally 1941 when they had been disbanded due to the pressured removing of Canadians of Japanese ancestry from coastal British Columbia pursuing events of the Second Earth War. The decline of the Asahi was a reduction of Japanese Canadian identification and a symbol of hope for equality and belonging. For Hatanaka, the rise and slide of the team serves as a powerful metaphor for the loss of pleasure, id, and culture seasoned by lots of Japanese Canadians:

“The Japanese Canadian Internment Period has had enduring consequences on foreseeable future generations. As a yonsei or fourth era descendant, I am exploring the reduction of Japanese tradition, identity, and custom in my possess expertise and by my artmaking. With this perform I aspire to handle the deficiency of aspirational Asian figures in just preferred society, specifically in the canon of western portray and champion underrepresented narratives. Though the subject make any difference is rooted in the past, the do the job explores modern day difficulties of identification, race, inherited trauma, xenophobia, implicit bias, the look for for belonging, the power of local community and the effects of decline of group.”

Hatanaka’s operate was just lately picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays who produced a brief movie to be aired on the Jumbotron at the Rogers Centre. The film introduces Hatanaka and celebrates the record of the Asahi crew in honour of Asian Heritage month. This calendar year also marks the 80 calendar year anniversary of Japanese Canadian Internment and the 20 calendar year Anniversary of the Asahi remaining honoured at the Skydome on the occasion of their induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. See far more photographs from Hatanaka’s challenge with the Jays as effectively as his newest exhibition, Safe|Property, underneath.


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