Pt. 1 仕方が無い “Shikata Ga Nai” / but it can be helped

Immersive Multimedia Installation

The Japanese phrase, 仕方が無い “Shikata ga nai,” translated as “it cannot be helped,” is typically used to describe a common attitude among Japanese people when having to confront unavoidable, tragic situations. During WWII, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps along the West Coast of the U.S. Many Nisei (2nd generation Japanese American) chose to keep their internment experiences to themselves rather than “repeating the tragedy again.” However by not telling their stories to younger generations, silence takes a place within this history.

Pt. 1: 仕方が無い “Shikata ga nai” / but it can be helped. is part of MACRO WAVES’ on-going video installation series exploring intergenerational experiences. The first part of this series focuses on the personal experiences of member Tina Kashiwagi, who is Yonsei (4th generation Japanese American), and their grandmother’s sister, Christine Umeda, who is Nisei and experienced internment herself. Through intimate conversations between the two, the question of how the trauma of internment is passed down through generations is posed, breaking the silence of “Shikata ga nai.”

5 channel video sculpture, audio interview, slide projector, ambient light, bedroom furniture, and projection mapped animated video collage on magazine cutout collage

10 x 16 x 12 ft

Culture Catalyst: NAP 50th Anniversary Exhibition
San Francisco Arts Commission Main Gallery

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© Macro Waves Est. 2015