Kay Sekimachi's Painting of Tanforan Incarceration Camp
Early work from renowned fiber artist
Kay Sekimachi was 15 years old when she and her family arrived at the Japanese American camp known as Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, California. She was one of the roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast who were forcibly moved to incarceration camps during World War II. Amid the crushing confinement of the camps, Sekimachi attended the Tanforan Art School founded by artist Chiura Obata (1885–1975), a fellow Japanese American prisoner who recognized the children’s need for continuity and normalcy inside the camps and believed in the healing power of art.