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Vivero Japonés

36 x 36 x 2.5 in.

Acrylic, ink, cotton rag mat, 24k gold leaf, vintage map, newspaper, manga, resin, on deep-cradled wood panel


Available for purchase

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Hashimoto Nursery, located on Sawtelle Blvd in the West L.A. neighborhood known as Little Osaka, was started by four brothers who settled in the area during the 1920s. At the time, the area around Sawtelle was a thriving Japanese community full of orchards and nurseries.


During World War II, half of the Hashimoto brothers were held at the Manzanar Internment Camp. Upon their release, they re-opened the nursery and have been in business continually since then.


"Vivero japonés" is a window into Los Angeles' past, a meditation on one of the few extant examples of what this area of city looked like almost 100 years ago. Imagine acres upon acres of orchards and flower beds, businesses run by first-, second- and even third-generation Japanese nikkei families at the time.

The juxtaposition of the starkly plain Hashimoto building with the exuberantly colored Mexican clay planters is intended to highlight both the dark moment in American history during which citizens of this country were forcibly relocated and incarcerated without due process because of their race, and the natural and ephemeral beauty of their horticultural pursuits. Additionally, the planters acknowledge the importance of Mexican immigrants to the agricultural economy and their longstanding relationship with these Japanese American businesses.

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