Four Freedoms Park Conservancy announces "Freedom from Fear/Yellow Bowl Project" by ceramic artist and journalist Setsuko Winchester was exhibited at FDR Four Freedoms State Park from Friday, April 12-Sunday, April 14.
The exhibit examined racial and cultural stereotypes during WWII, and the relocation and imprisonment of Japanese Americans following FDR's Executive Order 9066 in 1942.
In 2015, Winchester hand-pinched 120 yellow tea bowls, each representing 1,000 of the 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who were forcibly detained in ten US concentration camps. Winchester traveled more than 16,000 miles as she traversed the country, photographing her tea bowls in situ at the sites of these former camps to illuminate this marginalized chapter in American history.
"My ceramic essay is an attempt to use something beautiful to examine an ugly part of our history, thus turning its memory inside out," Winchester explains. "Rather than expose the ugliness of those who perpetuated and confirmed the Fear (FDR included), I wanted to show the humanity of those who were incarcerated."
Winchester first visited FDR Four Freedoms State Park in 2016 to photograph her tea bowls along the Park's granite edges. Located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, the Park is a memorial to president Roosevelt and his vision for universal human freedoms.
"Art has a unique power to tell stories," says CEO Howard Axel. "As steward of this architectural masterpiece designed by Louis Kahn, we are always looking for inspiring ways to connect visitors to human rights through programming; Ms. Winchester's work does just that by capturing a moment in history and igniting a conversation about the four freedoms."
The public was invited to join an artist-led talk and tour of the exhibition on Sunday, April 14, which discussed the history behind Executive Order 9066, Winchester's impetus for creating this project, and how we can learn from history.
About Four Freedoms Park Conservancy
Four Freedoms Park Conservancy is responsible for maintaining and operating FDR Four Freedoms State Park. As steward of this extraordinary civic space designed by Louis Kahn, the Conservancy advances President Roosevelt's legacy and inspires, educates, and engages the public in the ideals of the Four Freedoms.
For more information, visit: www.fdrfourfreedomspark.org