Mona Higuchi Projects Résumé Links About

Line of Exclusion and Camouflage Makers
Two installations were part of a group exhibition, Accused of No Crime: Japanese Incarceration in America. Both pieces are part of a body of work I have created over the years about the Japanese American internment during World War II. In 1988 the US government declared that the racially selective detention of Japanese Americans and aliens was a civil rights violation and officially apologized and granted reparations under the Civil Liberties Act.
Where did they come from?
The wall piece focuses on the Comfort Women who were coerced and kidnapped by the Japanese military during World War II. They were imprisoned as sex slaves in "comfort stations" for their soldiers in countries the Japanese had invaded. The construction of wooden dowels is based on a model for an installation, "Bamboo Echoes", at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1966. (See Bamboo Echoes)
Sex Trafficking
Human Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. It represents a grave violation of human rights and is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. The map,Sex Trafficking in Persons: USA Routes, is courtesy of The Protection Project at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies from the U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2013.
Ghost Planes
Stephen Grey's book, Ghost Plane: The True Story of The CIA Torture Program, documents the CIA's extraordinary rendition program to transport suspected terrorists to other countries for interrogation and torture. Clandestine prisons are at the center of a "spider web" of secret CIA flights which involved other countries and violated international laws and treaties.
Cloud Canopy
In 2003, Mona Higuchi was commissioned by Valley Metro Rail to create Cloud Canopy, an artwork that spans the east entry ramp of the 44th and Washington Street Station in Phoenix, Arizona. This station is the connecting point between the Light Rail and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The initial 20 miles of public rail system was completed in December, 2008.
Line of Exclusion
This project is part of a body of work based on the former demarcation line establishing a Military Exclusion Zone in Arizona during WWII. Persons of Japanese ancestry living south of the line were sent to internment camps, while those living north of it remained in their homes.
Frontera 2007
An installation focusing on the issues of illegal immigration along the border between the United States and Mexico. It is part of a body of work about the border. This piece was created for a group exhibition entitled "Here/Now", the first show for the "Ghost Gallery", a migratory art space. Exhibits take place in vacant spaces under development in downtown Phoenix.
Camouflage Makers
The work consisted of an enlarged photograph by Dorothea Lange taken at the Internment camp at Manzanar, California. During World War II, Japanese Americans imprisoned there made camouflage nets for the US military in violation of the Geneva Convention's rules regarding treatment of prisoners. The piece was first created in 1993 for a dance performance in Boston by Yuki Shiroma.
Fences/Borders - USA/Mexico
The work is a collaborative, sound/video installation with Richard Lerman. It was part of an international exhibition entitled 'Trafficking'at the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg, Sweden. It examined various aspects of human trafficking, occurring in many countries throughout the world.
Line of Exclusion 1942-45
During World War II, Executive Order 9066 established Internment camps for 120,000 Japanese Americans and a military exclusion zone along the entire west coast of the United States including Arizona. In Arizona persons of Japanese ancestry living south of the demarcation line were interned, while those living north of the line remained in their homes.
Relocation: Alaska 1942-45
During WWII the Unangan people (Aleuts) were forcibly evacuated by the US Government from their homes on the Aleutian Chain and relocated to deplorable temporary facilities in Southeast Alaska. This dark chapter of American history is the focus for this installation.
Turbulencia Terrenal
The work focuses on the Arizona border between the United States and Mexico. It includes photographs of the border fences and ports of entry, and USGS aerial photos of the area. In the middle of the gallery tied to a chain link fence are strips of paper cut from articles about border issues.
Memoria 1999
Situated along the dry river bank at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, the work commemorated the men and women who disappeared under various military dictatorships in Central and South America for the past 30 years.
Sueños de Maíz
Alhóndiga de Granaditas now houses the Regional Museum of Guanajuato Mexico. Its original purpose was as a storage facility for grain. It was also the site of violent events during Mexico's War of Independence, 1810-1821. The installation focuses on its role as a granary and on the significance of maize in Mexico's history, religion and culture.
Inspired by the infamous event in Nazi Germany when the shops and homes of Jewish family were destroyed. Thousands of pieces of glass hung individually from the ceiling creating a wind chime like sound mixing with audio recordings by Richard Lerman.
Bamboo Echoes
Research while artist-in-residence at the Gardner Museum in Boston, led to the discovery of "The Buddha Room". The artist created an echo of Mrs. Gardner's meditation room by building a contemplative space dedicated to the "Comfort Women", sex slaves used by the Japanese military during WWII.
Threading History: The Japanese American Experience
Based on two personal stories of Japanese Americans during WWII, one of a soldier with the Allied troops that liberated Dachau, and another of how a woman learned of her mother's internment at Tule Lake. 1000 needles and 1000 shells combine with sound and video recordings by Richard Lerman.
Executive Order 9066
Signed by Roosevelt in 1942, the Order sent thousands of Japanese Americans to Internment camps. Consisting of two bamboo structures, one contains rectangles of black tar paper and the other, white paper printed with the names of Assembly centers and Internment camps.
Los Desaparecidos
Based on the documentation by Amnesty International of 690 men and women from Chile who disappeared under the military dictatorship of Pinochet after the overthrow of the Allende government in 1973. A collaboration with Richard Lerman, sound and video artist.
Earth Light Peru
Inca ruins at Machu Picchu and Pisaq, were the inspiration for this piece. A 30 ft. square room of canvas, painted the color of the red earth of Peru, was covered with thousands of squares of composition gold leaf. Light reflected off the surface as the sun moved across the skylights of a former textile factory in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.