Book Signing

Hidden in Plain Sight: Selected Writings of Karin Higa Book Signing with Howie Chen and Julie Ault

Thursday, March 16, 2023
6:30 – 8:30PM

Edited by the renowned artist, curator, writer, and editor Julie Ault, Hidden in Plain Sight brings together essential writings by the art historian and curator Karin Higa (1966–2013). The selected essays, written between 1992 and 2011, focus on the creation of Japanese internment camps and the artistic production and communities that took root within them, as well as on the individual and collective narratives of Asian American artists in response to discriminatory immigration policies. While exploring issues of national identity and immigration, Higa recuperates significant artists and oeuvres from historical neglect and regards works by contemporary artists to examine how art acts as both a source for cultural identity and a transmitter of culture.

This book reveals how Higa’s conviction that art and the lived experience of the past are indissolubly linked was at the root of her methodological modeling of an Asian American art history. Moving between portrayals of milieux such as artists’ networks in the camps, Little Tokyo communities, and cities around the world—across ethnic, geographic, and stylistic boundaries—and case studies of oeuvres and biographies, she recovers vital art practices and hidden histories of creative struggle and efflorescence, in the process mapping individual practices, networks, and communal life, as fertile creative contexts. Higa shows how artists of Asian descent have moved past the divide between United States and their ancestral homes by using their freedom as artists to more broadly define their culture.