On June 15th, the National Museum hosted the Reinstallation of Relics with artist, Kristine Yuki Aono. The event is part of the Common Ground: The Heart of Community exhibition revisions and the Museum's commitment to conserve and preserve artifacts. Staff and volunteers were invited to bring camp items to replace the ones installed by Kristine when the Pavilion opened in 1998. In addition, Kristine selected artifacts from the Museum's permanent collection.
Approximately, 25 volunteers and staff joined Kristine in a collection day and watched as the artist talked with volunteers about their relic, shared selections from the permanent collection and placed the new relics into the installation. The event had its usual attendance of nisei volunteers, as well as volunteers who were not in camp or Japanese American, but are connected to the artwork through their public service and non-public assistance working behind the scenes. One unique attendee highlighted the Museum efforts to reach the younger generation. Julia Murakami, a yonsei volunteer shared her uncle's relics from Rohwer.
We would like to acknowledge the donors and volunteers who submitted artifacts before the reinstallation and letting us share their stories. As we watched Kristine, several of us reflected on what was there before, while welcoming the new artifacts and how they would carry on the tradition of sharing more stories about the Japanese American experience.
To celebrate the reinstallation of Relics, as well as the Common Ground exhibition revisions, we have put together a collection of items to help you learn more about the Japanese American World War II experience.