Tule Lake Relocation Camp, 1946

Sterling silver, copper, brass, enamel, decal, and czs

2.25 x 1.625 x 0.875 inches

Photographed by artist

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My inspiration for the “Memento” challenge was in choosing an original black and white photograph of my dad’s family in front of the barracks at the Tule Lake Relocation Camp in 1946. The photograph documents not only a family history but also an American history where Japanese-American citizens were stripped of their legal rights during World War II. Barbed wire bounds the decaying photograph and the surrounding silver distressed frame. By contrast, the back of the brooch has the brass Kawaoka kamon (family crest) that is solid and preserved, signifying the strength and endurance of family. I sought to create a family heirloom that resonates with history and experiences. Even memories that are tucked away in closet, hidden and faded, deserve recognition and remembrance. By forgetting a dark past, how do we forge a brighter future?