Harsh Canvas: The Art and Life of Henry Sugimoto (film)


Title Harsh Canvas: The Art & Life of Henry Sugimoto
Date 2001
Director John Esaki
Starring Mako (voice of Henry Sugimoto); Naomi Tagawa (interviewee); Madeleine Sugimoto (interviewee); Michael S. Roth (interviewee); Kristine Kim (interviewee); George Mukai (interviewee); Stephanie Barron (interviewee)
Music David Iwataki
Cinematography John Esaki; Dean Hayasaka; Herman Lew; Michael Chin; VV Dachin Hsu
Editing Gail Yasunaga
Studio Japanese American National Museum Media Arts Center
Runtime 30 minutes
IMDB Harsh Canvas: The Art & Life of Henry Sugimoto

A 2001 biographical documentary film on the life and work of Issei artist Henry Sugimoto, based on the artist's memoirs and testimony before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. The film highlights Sugimoto's art through archival and contemporary footage and follows his life's journey from immigration to his incarceration with his family during World War II in Arkansas, and postwar relocation to New York. Actor Mako narrates the film in the voice of Sugimoto. Interviews with his daughter Madeleine Sugimoto and sister-in-law Naomi Tagawa provide additional information on his life, while fellow artist George Mukai and curators Kristine Kim and Stephanie Barron discuss the significance of his work.

The film was produced by the Japanese American National Museum as a companion piece to the exhibition Henry Sugimoto: Painting an American Experience.

Authored by Patricia Wakida

For More Information

Harsh Canvas at Japanese American National Museum website.