Friday, August 11, 2017

Hodgepodge 286/365 - Gaman / 我慢

Gaman is a Japanese term of Zen Buddhist origin meaning "enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity." Variously translated as patience, tolerance, perseverance, or self-denial, it means to do one's best under difficult circumstances and to maintain self-control and discipline. Displaying gaman is considered a virtue, a sign of maturity and strength.

The term is, not surprisingly, often attributed to those Japanese Americans who were imprisoned during World War II. In 2010–11, the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., part of the Smithsonian, mounted a show called "The Art of Gaman," featuring arts and crafts created in the camps, out of whatever was available. These pieces are remarkable for their ingenuity and beauty. Here are a few links (here and here and here) that give more description, more images, and more of a story of the internment itself. There is also a book that accompanied the show, and in this video the curator, Delphine Hirasuna, describes how she hunted the pieces down over a decade.

Here are just a few examples:

Scissors hammered from melted scrap metal by
Akira Oye in Rohwer, Arkansas

Unknown artist, bas-relief carving  and painting
of Heart Mountain, Wyoming

Kinoe Adachi made this samurai out of shells she collected
while at Topaz, Utah

Carved birds based on National Geographic
photos and Audubon bird identification
cards; the legs were often made of wire

A puzzle made by Kametaro Matsumoto in Minedoka, Idaho:
the objective is to free the young woman from the
surveillance of her family and surround her by the four young men

Stone teapot carved by Homei Iseyama in Topaz, Utah

No comments:

Post a Comment