Local Heroes

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An opening reception for “Transcendients: Heroes at Borders” was held Jan. 31 at the Japanese American National Museum.

The contemporary art exhibition by Taiji Terasaki (pictured above) honors individuals, deceased and living, who have advocated and fought for those who face discrimination, prejudice and inequality at borders both real and imagined. Terasaki, who is based in Hawaii, is the son of the late philanthropist Paul Terasaki and Hisako Terasaki, who attended the reception. Speakers included JANM CEO Ann Burroughs and actor/activist George Takei (pictured below), one of the featured heroes.

Among those depicted in collages in the gallery are artist/activist traci kato-kiriyama and actor Daniel Dae Kim.

Great Leap founder Nobuko Miyamoto.

Boxes outside the gallery were dedicated to heroes who have passed on, including Michi Nishiura Weglyn, author of “Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps” and costume designer.

Mini-shrines to redress movement leaders Bert and Lillian Nakano (above) and Manzanar Committee founder Sue Kunitomi Embrey (below).

An artist discussion will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. Art critic and curator Isabella Ellaheh Hughes will discuss the process of developing the exhibition with Terasaki. A light reception and catalog signing with Terasaki and some of the heroes featured in the exhibition will follow. Included with museum admission; RSVPs recommended.

“Transcendients” opened Feb. 1 and runs through March 29. Info: www.janm.org

Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo

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