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Balancing Cultures: Jerry Takigawa

June 16, 2018 – August 12, 2018

Featured image: Fifteen Aliens

In Balancing Cultures, Jerry  Takigawa layers historical photographs and objects to discuss the implications of his family’s experiences in U.S. Japanese concentration camps during WWII. “Making these images, my family’s shame and anger became visible,” he writes. “This work gives voice to a long-silenced family story.” 

Mr. Takigawa is the recipient of NOPA’s 2017 Clarence John Laughlin award, a $5,000 grant that was created to support the work of photographers who use the medium as a means of creative expression. It honors the life and work of Clarence John Laughlin (1905-1985), a New Orleans photographer best known for his surrealist images of the American South. The Clarence John Laughlin Award grants one $5000 prize annually to a photographer whose work exhibits sustained artistic excellence and creative vision.

Reasons to Serve
Shikata Ga Nai (It cannot be helped)

Juror Paula Tognarelli writes, “[Takigawa] leads the viewer into the work by way of a quiet, often-meditative aesthetic.” 

In Takigawa’s words, “Balancing Cultures is a family history project that bears witness to the tolerance and subsequent acceptance of a paradoxical dilemma. The images serve as a reminder of the injustices that can result from hysteria, racism, and economic exploitation. This work has also illuminated the origins of the Japanese American paradoxical worldview.”