SF’s “We Are LGBT Nikkei” Exhibition (May 14 – Jyly 9)
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National Japanese American Historical Society | 1684 Post St., San Francisco, CA
Submitted by the Event Organizer
We Are LGBTQ Nikkei exhibit on display at the NJAHS Gallery at 1648 Post Street, San Francisco, California 94115. From May 14 through July 9.
The National Japanese American Historical Society, Inc is proud to host an exhibit by the Japantown Rainbow Coalition, generously funded by the Berkeley Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. We Are LGBTQ Nikkei is an exhibit of queer Nikkei artists creating space for queer Japanese American culture within Japantown for Pride Month:
There have always been queer Japanese Americans. Since the earliest days of Japanese migration to the United States, there have been Japanese Americans who defy traditional gender and sexuality. Whether it be the poet Yone Noguchi or 1960s activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya, queer Japanese Americans have been among us. The Japanese American Citizens League famously became the first non-LGBT oriented civil rights organization to endorse gay marriage in 1994.
Yet, there seems to be an invisible wall between the two identities.
When operating within the Japanese American community, the support for LGBTQ people seems to be an outward show of support rather than an embracement. Thus, the identities almost seem mutually exclusive. As American queer scholar Eve Sedgwick described an “epistemology of the closet”, Nikkei scholar Andrew Leong describes an “epistemology of the pocket.” As LGBTQ people in America have “a closet” to be themselves, being a minority within a minority affords queer Nikkei even less space.
This exhibition aims to bring that issue to light and radically give Nikkei space to queer Nikkei. By doing so, the exhibition intends to not only send a message that LGBTQ Nikkei they are welcome and embraced within San Francisco’s Japantown community, but to show the greater Japanese American community that LGBTQ people are amongst them
The exhibit will run from May 14 through July 9 and brings together members of the Queer Nikkei community to show their artwork and reflect upon their artistic practice and their identity both as Queer Americans and as Japanese Americans. As well as inviting members of the Queer community to Japantown to build connections between the two communities in our shared struggle for a more just and equitable America.
The exhibit features works by Tina Kashiwagi, Julia LaChica, Mia Nakano, eryn kimura, and Tomo Hirai and is co-curated by Tomo Hirai and Lilith Benjamin.
Gallery Hours: M- F, 12- 5PM, 1st Saturdays of the month.
Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.