Japanese Canadian artist Kellen Hatanaka tackles challenges of identification and the Asian Canadian encounter via a multidisciplinary observe consisting of portray and sculpture. His most modern get the job done centres around the tale of the Vancouver Asahi baseball crew which emerged from humble beginnings in 1914 and have been active right until 1941 when they had been disbanded because of to the pressured removal of Canadians of Japanese ancestry from coastal British Columbia adhering to situations of the Second Globe War. The decline of the Asahi was a loss of Japanese Canadian id and a symbol of hope for equality and belonging. For Hatanaka, the rise and slide of the workforce serves as a powerful metaphor for the loss of satisfaction, identity, and tradition professional by numerous Japanese Canadians:
“The Japanese Canadian Internment Era has experienced enduring results on potential generations. As a yonsei or fourth era descendant, I am exploring the reduction of Japanese tradition, identification, and tradition in my have experience and via my artmaking. With this function I aspire to tackle the lack of aspirational Asian figures inside well known lifestyle, specifically in the canon of western painting and champion underrepresented narratives. While the subject make any difference is rooted in the previous, the get the job done explores modern concerns of id, race, inherited trauma, xenophobia, implicit bias, the search for belonging, the energy of community and the outcomes of loss of community.”
Hatanaka’s function was not too long ago picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays who produced a quick film to be aired on the Jumbotron at the Rogers Centre. The film introduces Hatanaka and celebrates the history of the Asahi group in honour of Asian Heritage month. This 12 months also marks the 80 year anniversary of Japanese Canadian Internment and the 20 year Anniversary of the Asahi being honoured at the Skydome on the celebration of their induction into the Canadian Baseball Corridor of Fame. See extra photos from Hatanaka’s job with the Jays as nicely as his most recent exhibition, Harmless|Household, beneath.