Asian American Representational Art: DVD and VHS videos resources

Art to Art: Expressions by Asian American Women is a 1993 30 minute documentary. A collaborative project between filmmakers, painters and sculptors, ART TO ART is a necessary addition for all disciplines concerned with issues of identity and aesthetics. Artists featured: Pacita Abad, Hung Liu, Yong Soon Min and Barbara Takanaga. Film and videomakers: Christine Chang, Christine Choy, Karen Kavery and Chuleenan Svetvilas. "We are delighted to get eight accomplished artists from both coasts of the U.S. who reflect today's diversity and dynamism of Asian American women artists and their work." --Lilia Villaneuva, (former) Asia Women United President. Available from the Educational Distribution service of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) which has distributed high quality works by and about Asians and Asian Pacific Americans, since 1986, to educational institutions, libraries, community organizations, government agencies, film and art centers, and television.

Days of Waiting: The Life and Art of Estelle Ishigo is Steve Okizaki's video documentary published by National Asian American Telecommunication Association. Wikipedia says: "Days of Waiting (1990) is a documentary short film by Steven Okazaki, about Estelle Ishigo, a Caucasian artist who went voluntarily to an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. The film was inspired by Ishigo's book, "Lone Heart Mountain", and won an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject and a Peabody Award."

Four Stones for Kanemitsu (1973) 28 minutes. Produced by June Wayne, Terry Sanders. Produced at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop, the film shows the collaboration between artist Matsumi Kanemitsu and master printer Serge Lozingot as they create a four-color lithograph. (text courtesy of FADA Los Angeles Art Show)

Infinite Shades of Gray A video from Silver Eye Center for Photography about Japanese American photographer Toyo Miyatake that documents his own incarceration in Manzanar, with more than 10,000 Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in this remote desert facility on U.S. soil during World War II.

Isamu Noguchi.(Portrait of an Artist) Follows the twentieth-century Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi around the world for more than a year filming his global artistic adventures. Examines his early life in Japan and his education in the United States which formed a fusion between East and West and fostered the universality of his creative efforts. c1980. 55 min. Video/C 6321 Available from Media Resources Center, Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Isamu Noguchi: Stones and Paper is a 56 minute DVD described by Japanese American National Museum as follows: "This video appeared in the National Museum's 2004 exhibition Isamu Noguchi and Modern Japanese Ceramics. It is a timeless retrospective on the life and career of Isamu Noguchi, whose bi-national heritage sent him back and forth between Japan and America seeking a new artistic synthesis... He started his career in Paris as Constantin Brancusi's apprentice. He made his name in New York. And, after World War II, he brought a fresh modernist wind to Japan, putting his mark on Japanese ceramics, gardens, and paper lanterns. His late masterworks -- rough stone monoliths that echo both Brancusi and the Zen garden of Ryoanji -- marry East and West in an absolutely original way."

Isamu Noguchi: The Sculpture of Spaces is a 53 minute DVD described by the Japanese American National Museum as follows: "Isamu Noguchi often said that the space around a thing is as important as the thing itself. This classic program shows Noguchi turning landscapes into participatory works of art as it follows in dramatic detail the struggle to bring his ideas to fruition at Miami's Bayfront Park and at Moere Numa Park, outside Sapporo... His austere sets for Martha Graham, which helped define modern dance, and his UNESCO garden in Paris, which shaped earth, water, and greenery into a series of multisensory surprises, are featured as well. A brilliant glimpse of an artist at work."

My Name is Belle is a 25 minute documentary by Terri DeBono and Steve Rosen, produced by Mac and Ava Motion Pictures 2007. Contact is Terri DeBobo (831) 646-9532. Belle Yang is a Chinese-American artist creating narrative paintings from her remembrances. TFAO extends appreciation to Steve Hauk of Hauk Fine Arts for bringing this video to our attention.

Persistent Women Artists. In this 28 minute 1996 program artist Betty LaDuke captures in conversations the spirit of three American women artists of diverse heritages: Pablita Verlade, Mine Okubo and Louis Mailou Jones. Their paintings, drawings, lithographs and murals reflect their experiences as Native- , Asian- and African-American women.

Raymond's Portrait: the Life and Art of Raymond Hu is a half-hour documentary that profiles the life and art of 19-year-old artist Raymond Hu. The documentary traces the personal and artistic development of this unique painter, including his difficult but ultimately rewarding experience as one of the first full-inclusion students at San Ramon Valley High School. Raymond's perspective on the challenges of growing up with Down syndrome provides a context for the powerful emotional impact of his haunting animal portraits. Through interviews with Raymond, his family, and his art teacher Lampo Leong, as well as depiction of his daily activities at school and at leisure, Raymond's sensitivity, humor, and fierce passion for life emerge on screen. Raymond's Portrait introduces us to a remarkable young man. Produced by award-winning TV producer Donald Young, the documentary was first aired on KCSM-TV60, San Mateo, Calif. on May 28, 1997. It was very well received in the San Francisco bay area and may be released nationally. The documentary has won the CINE Golden Eagle Award, the Bronze Apple from the National Educational Media Network, and First Place in Television Programming from the Peninsula Press Club. Available from the Educational Distribution service of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) which has distributed high quality works by and about Asians and Asian Pacific Americans, since 1986, to educational institutions, libraries, community organizations, government agencies, film and art centers, and television.

Ruth Asawa: Of Forms and Growth is a 26 minute DVD by Robert Snyder. "Academy award-winning director, Robert Snyder, takes an intimate look at San Francisco artist, Ruth Asawa. As one of America's most important women artists, Ruth Asawa produced a body of work celebrating the richness and beauty of everyday life through the use of graceful and intricate forms. Hear about the intensity and sensitivity that pervades her life and her views on art, growth and life itself." Description courtesy of Japanese American National Museum.

Taro Yashima's Golden Village is a 26 minute DVD produced and directed by Glenn Johnson, described by the Japanese American National Museum as follows: "A fading grammar school graduation photograph is the point of departure for a journey by artist-author, Taro Yashima from the U.S., where he lived for fifty years, to the village of his birth, Nejime, Japan on the southern tip of Kyushu. Joy and sadness color his encounters with his classmates of forty years before... Narrated by Taro himself, the film brings to life scenes described in his chidren's picture books: The Village Tree, Plenty to Watch, and Crow Boy. It also provides insight into the way environment shapes people in general and artists in particular... Taro Yashima (1910-1994) published seven picture books, three of which were named Caldecott Honor Books, Crow Boy, Umbrella, and Seashore Story. He was the recipient of many awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern California Council on Literature for Children... The DVD features both Japanese and English narrations."


Toshiko Takaezu: Portrait of a Ceramic Artist is a 53 minute DVD described by the Japanese American National Museum as follows "Renowned for her extraordinary pottery and highly respected as a teacher, Toshiko Takaezu is one of the most significant ceramic artists of the 20th century -- and the 21st... This timeless program, filmed both in New Jersey and the artist's native Hawaii, presents the life story of the internationally acclaimed potter. Film clips of Ms. Takaezu at work -- shaping clay in her studio, demonstrating pottery techniques at Princeton University, and overseeing raku-firing -- provide illuminating insights into her philosophical creative process, as do interviews with ceramic artists Claude Horan and Jennifer Owen; gallery owner Charles Cowles; Paul Smith, director emeritus of the American Craft Museum; poet Stephen Berg; and the artist herself."

Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray is a 30 minute VHS video described by the Japanese American National Museum as follows: "Produced by Karen L. Ishizuka. Directed by Robert A. Nakamura. Edited by Gail Yasunaga. Cinematography by John Esaki and Dean Hayasaka. Original score by: David Iwataki... Elegant and penetrating, Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades Of Gray positions this immigrant photographer within the canon of American Art... In Los Angeles, Toyo Miyatake is reknowned as Little Tokyo's foremost studio photographer. To others he is known for having smuggled a lens and film holder into one of America's WWII concentration camps and being the first to capture life behind barbed wire with a makeshift camera made of scrapwood. Yet it was his little known artistic pursuits before the war that honed his discerning eye. Miyatake's pictorial and modernist photographs are presented for the first time since they were exhibited in the 1920s and 1930s... Also included are never-before-seen images of Manzanar, the WWII camp Miyatake was incarcerated in, and recently-discovered home movies of Little Tokyo taken by Miyatake."


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