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Relics from Camp (exhibition)

RG Media Type exhibitions
Title Relics from Camp
Creators Japanese American National Museum
Interest Level Grades 3-5; Grades 6-8; Grades 9-12; Adult
Grade Reading Level Adult
Theme Displacement; Injustice
Genre Art; History
Availability Available
Free Web Version No
Has Teaching Aids? No
Geography United States
Chronology 1942-1946
Facility Multiple

Art installation by Kristine Yuki Aono that debuted at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in 1996. The installation featured soil collected by the artist at each of the ten War Relocation Authority camp sites installed in shallow 3 x 3 square boxes on the floor with glass over them. At each venue, Aono sought community members who lent personal objects from themselves or other family members who had been in each camp that were installed in that camp's box. The exhibition was viewed by walking on the glass over the boxes.

Relics from Camp was first installed at the Japanese American National Museum, January 25 to April 11, 1996. It subsequently traveled to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. (October 31, 1996 to January 5, 1997) and to the Harold Washington Library, Chicago, Illinois (January 1997). In each venue, objects from the local community were sought to placed in the boxes. [1] In 2002, Relics from Camp was reinstalled at JANM as part of the semi-permanent exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community , using new objects from the community and from the JANM collection. [2]

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

For More Information

Machida, Margo. Unsettled Visions: Contemporary Asian American Artists and the Social Imaginary . Durham: Duke University Press, 2008.

O'Brien, Dennis. "Interned Recall Life in Camps." Chicago Tribune , January 19, 1997, .


  1. "On-Site, Traveling and Borrowed Exhibitions 1991–2010," Japanese American National Museum 2010 Gala Dinner & Silent Auction Dinner Journal, April 10, 2010; Dennis O'Brien, "Interned Recall Life in Camps," Chicago Tribune , January 19, 1997, accessed on December 23, 2013 at .
  2. "Reinstalling Relics," Japanese American National Museum website, June 2002, accessed December 23, 2013 at .