Japanese Canadian artist Kellen Hatanaka tackles issues of identification and the Asian Canadian working experience through a multidisciplinary apply consisting of painting and sculpture. His most current get the job done centres around the tale of the Vancouver Asahi baseball crew which emerged from humble beginnings in 1914 and had been energetic until finally 1941 when they ended up disbanded due to the forced elimination of Canadians of Japanese ancestry from coastal British Columbia subsequent occasions of the Next Earth War. The decline of the Asahi was a reduction of Japanese Canadian id and a image of hope for equality and belonging. For Hatanaka, the rise and tumble of the workforce serves as a powerful metaphor for the decline of delight, identity, and culture professional by numerous Japanese Canadians:

“The Japanese Canadian Internment Period has experienced enduring results on potential generations. As a yonsei or fourth era descendant, I am exploring the decline of Japanese society, identity, and custom in my very own knowledge and via my artmaking. With this get the job done I aspire to handle the deficiency of aspirational Asian figures in common lifestyle, especially in the canon of western portray and winner underrepresented narratives. Though the subject matter is rooted in the earlier, the perform explores present-day problems of identity, race, inherited trauma, xenophobia, implicit bias, the search for belonging, the strength of group and the outcomes of loss of community.”

Hatanaka’s work was lately picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays who made a brief movie to be aired on the Jumbotron at the Rogers Centre. The movie introduces Hatanaka and celebrates the record of the Asahi staff in honour of Asian Heritage thirty day period. This year also marks the 80 yr anniversary of Japanese Canadian Internment and the 20 calendar year Anniversary of the Asahi being honoured at the Skydome on the situation of their induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. See additional photos from Hatanaka’s task with the Jays as properly as his newest exhibition, Safe|Household, under.

Angelia S. Rico

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