Debi van Zyl

Citizen 13660


Citizen 13660: The Art of Miné Okubo presented a selection of archival material and rare original artwork by California-born artist Miné Okubo (1912–2001), who was among the thousands of Japanese American citizens interned at incarceration camps during World War II. In an effort to document the injustices of the camps, Okubo created nearly 200 pen and ink drawings capturing her everyday life and struggles. These vivid, dramatic drawings were published as the graphic novel Citizen 13660 (1946).

Throughout the gallery, Okubo's drawings were enlarged and displayed like large pages or hanging banners. The patterns and line weights expressed in the drawings were echoed in the exhibit's design: we created hand-drawn patterned curtains to filter light in the gallery and specially designed casework with thin supports in high contrast black and white. The overall approach was modest and minimal and gallery graphics and type choices were inspired by Okubo's precise and layered hand-drawing style.

Citizen 13660:
The Art of Miné Okubo

Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA
October 8, 2015–February 21, 2016