JANM Digital Film Festival: Masters of Modern Design Q and A

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Film & Other Media

May 202029
6:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.


Hear from the children of the featured artists in Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience in this second Q&A of the JANM Digital Film Festival! 

Join Kiku Obata (designer and daughter of Gyo Obata), Mira Nakashima(furniture designer and daughter of George Nakashima), Kenji Fujita (artist and son of S. Neil Fujita), and Addie Lanier (educator and daughter of Ruth Asawa) as they talk about their parents’ lives and legacies.

Masters of Modern Design, a co-production between JANM’s Watase Media Arts Center and KCET for the series ARTBOUND, explores how the World War II American concentration camp experience impacted the lives of five Japanese American artists and designers and ultimately sent them on trajectories that led to their changing the face of American culture with their immense talents. From the hand-drawn typeface on the cover of The Godfather to Herman Miller’s biomorphic coffee table, the work of Japanese American designers including Ruth AsawaGeorge NakashimaIsamu NoguchiS. Neil Fujita, and Gyo Obata permeated postwar culture. While these second-generation Japanese American artists have been celebrated, less-discussed is how their WW II incarceration—a period of great hardship and discrimination—had a powerful effect on their lives and art.

Be sure to watch the film first, then join us for the Q&A which will be streamed live on JANM’s YouTube channel on Friday, May 29, from 6 p.m.–7 p.m. (PDT).

There are four ways to watch the film:

  • On the KCET website through May 30
  • On KCET’s YouTube channel
  • Airing on KCET, Southern California’s PBS station:
    Sunday, May 24 • 5 p.m. (PDT) on KCET-HD
    Sunday, June 7 • 12 a.m. (PDT) ON KCETLINK
    Thursday, June 11 • 1 p.m. (PDT) on KCET-HD
  • Purchase the DVD at janmstore.com

Submit questions in advance using this form. Participants will be able to chat and ask additional questions live (you will need to be logged in to YouTube to participate in the chat).

Learn more about the film in this 2019 interview with Akira Boch, Director of JANM’s Watase Media Arts Center.


JANM . Last modified May 21, 2020 2:20 p.m.


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