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'They wore their best … The Japanese-American Evacuation and After': Photographs by Dorothea Lange and Paul Kitagaki Jr., May 2012

‘They wore their best … The Japanese-American Evacuation and After’: Photographs by Dorothea Lange and Paul Kitagaki Jr., May 2012

Photographer Paul Kitagaki Jr.’s  project is filled with passion and grace with a look back at Dorthea Lange’s documentary photos from the time for the War Relocation Authority of the struggle and life of the people of Japanese ancestry during the forced relocation in 1942. The mood and feel of this project mirror those of Lange’s work. Kitagaki is a senior photojournalist at the Sacramento Bee and started researching and documenting the subjects in 2005.  He is using a Linhof 4×5 Mater Technika camera and Polaroid type 55 black and white film to achieve the vintage look from the era in which Lange’s photographs were first made.  Kitagaki’s images work as a reminder of a part of American history often rarely spoken of.

Kitagaki’s work will be on display alongside Lange’s during Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in May at the San Bruno BART Station – inside station/concourse level.  The opening reception hosted by the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District is on April 28 from 10 a.m. to noon.

The Sacramento Bee has a extensive gallery of the archive photos as well as a slideshow of Kitagaki’s project.

Photos: THEN (above left): Itaru Ina, right, foreground, stands in the Tule Lake Interment Camp jail in Tule Lake, Calif., during WWII before he was sent to a Department of Justice Interment Camp for enemy aliens at Fort Lincoln, Bismarck, N.D. Photograph from the National Archives and Records Administration. NOW (above right): Satsuki Ina, 67, who was born at the Tule Lake camp stands in the jail cell where her father, Itaru, was held before he was sent to North Dakota. Ina’s American-born parents were interned after both answered “no” to loyalty questions that many Japanese Americans considered tricks.

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