Image / Laundry Room

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Title
Laundry Room
Creator
Hibi, Hisako
Date Created and/or Issued
4/26/1945
Publication Information
Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Contributing Institution
Japanese American National Museum
Collection
Hibi (Hisako) Collection
Rights Information
Please contact the contributing institution for more information regarding the copyright status of this object.
Description
Framed, stretched canvas. Women in slacks bathing children in long wash basins.
Daily life in Topaz concentration camp included having to cope with the inadequate laundry and latrine facilities. These spaces were designed to be completely communal, for example, individual stalls were not even equipped with doors. This resulted in a lack of privacy and embarassing situations for internees. In addition, there were often long lines to use these facilities. Hibi herself noted in her writing that the bath tubs seemed to be almost always occupied. As a result, many mothers remedied the situation by bathing their children in the sinks built for washing laundry. On the back of this painting Hibi wrote, "We only had four bath tubs. Mothers bathed children in the laundry room." Three women and nine children are depicted in this painting. As was typical for Hibi, her figures lack specificity and detail. In the background an open doorway reveals a row of barracks so that the setting is unmistakably that of the concentration camp.
Type
image
Format
Painting oil on canvas
Form/Genre
painting
Identifier
http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/tf8m3nb357
96.601.15
Subject
Concentration Camps, Topaz | women | children | laundry | bathing

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