FEDERAL WAY — The Pacific Bonsai Museum is hosting a free, virtual, live event, “Branch Out,” on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. about its newest exhibit, which runs through Oct. 21.
“World War Bonsai: Remembrance & Resilience” presents the untold history of bonsai artists working in the World War II-era and how they changed the course of bonsai art, with 32 bonsai, archival documents, and photographs.
The exhibition traces the cultural practice of bonsai in the United States and in Japan immediately before, during, and after World War II, amid incarceration, and at peace.
Bonsai created by artists from Washington’s South Puget Sound region, Seattle, California, Colorado, Hawaii, and Japan are featured.
Nancy Ukai, writer, researcher, and project director of 50objects.org, called the exhibit “a stunning and moving homage to the art of bonsai that heals, and is especially necessary at this moment.”
A centerpiece of the exhibition is the Japanese Black Pine bonsai grown from seed in a tin can by Japanese American Juzaburo Furuzawa while he was incarcerated in the Topaz barbed-wire detention camp during World War II. This bonsai made headlines in February, when thieves stole it along with another bonsai, and then, less than 72 hours later, mysteriously returned it to the museum, likely due to pressure from the community and the media.
Museum Curator Aarin Packard said, “Bonsai is a peacetime activity. It requires a sense of mental peace, as well as time, space, and resources. In short, everything a bonsai artist needs becomes less predictable or impossible to procure in wartime. Yet, that bonsai has been practiced during wartime — sometimes even secretly — is a testament to the art and its artists.”
The Aug. 19 virtual event will present behind-the-scenes video and narration about this exhibition, plus commentary on bonsai and the Japanese American incarceration experience by famed architect George Suyama, FAIA. To register for the virtual event, see the link to Branch Out on pacificbonsaimuseum.org. A post-event recording will be available on Pacific Bonsai Museum’s YouTube channel.
The exhibition runs through Oct. 10, 2021. Admission is by donation. There is a $10 suggested donation for those who are able to support the museum.
Museum hours: Tuesday–Sunday,
10 a.m.–4 p.m.
For more information, call the museum at (253) 353-7345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.