Art: Self-Interned, 1942

Sculpture Exhibition


The Noguchi Museum is a peaceful, inspirational haven. Founded and designed by Isamu Noguchi himself, this zen building – hidden away in Queens – consists of a two-storey open gallery space and a bamboo-filled sculpture garden. Noguchi’s work sits perfectly poised in every room, hit at the most striking angles by light flooding in through the vast windows.

You could never tire of the soothingly satisfying permanent collection and yet the exhibition of just two dozen creations that sits on the upper floor adds a new dimension to Noguchi’s work.

Self-Interned, 1942 marks the 75th anniversary of the executive order that authorized the internment of Japanese citizens, as well as American citizens of Japanese heritage, living in the western United States. Noguchi, who was then based in New York, voluntarily entered a War Relocation Center in Arizona in an attempt to bring positivity and creation to those trapped there. This exhibition studies his extraordinary decision and the effect that it had on both himself and his art. Experiencing a combination of exclusion and connection changed Noguchi’s work – and the results in turn change the way that we view all of his creations.

18 January 2017 – 7 January 2018.

The Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City, NY 11106.

Photo: Hannah Hoskins.

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