On memorializing James Wakasa


‘Raising Mr. Wakasa’s Monument’ by Patrick Hayashi

‘Raising Mr. Wakasa’s Monument’ by Patrick Hayashi

Mr. Wakasa was shot by a guard while walking his dog along the perimeter of the fence at the Topaz, Utah concentration camp.  Other prisoners created a half-ton, five-foot high, concrete monument to honor Mr. Wakasa and commemorate his death.

I assume they created the monument by making a mould in the ground and filling it with concrete. After it dried, they must have struggled to get it upright and set it in place.

Here is my exploration of what took place.

I decided to reflect on Mr. Wakasa’s monument by using torn newspaper on a black background. . . .

After a “long and satisfying career” at the University of California, where he retired as associate president of the UC system, Patrick Hayashi took up art. He works in all mediums and all genres — including painting with smoke, a new medium he discovered. His Website is PatrickHayashi.com.

The views expressed in the preceding commentary are not necessarily those of the Nichi Bei Weekly.

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