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Fall and Winter Hours

Monday - Friday

9:00AM - 5:00PM



Pure Michigan

Corridor Series: Camp Home

Photographs by Kevin J. Miyazaki
September 14 - November 24
M-F 9:00AM - 5:00PM

In the series, Camp Home, photographer Kevin J. Miyazaki documents the reuse of buildings from the Tule La​ke and Heart Mountain Japanese internment camps where members of his family were incarcerated during World War ll.

Tule Lake and Heart Mountain were two of ten camps used for the internment of Japanese Americans evicted from the West Coast Exclusion Zone during World War II by executive order from President Franklin Roosevelt after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Heart Mountain opened in August 1942 and would hold a total of 13,997 Japanese Americans over the next three years, with a peak population of 10,767, making it the third-largest "town" in Wyoming before it closed on November 10, 1945.  Tule Lake Relocation Center opened in May 1942 and initially held approximately 11,800 Japanese Americans.

Barracks which served as de facto homes at Tule Lake (in Northern California) and Heart Mountain (in Northwest Wyoming) were dispersed throughout the neighboring landscape following the war under a government-sponsored homesteading program. They were adapted into homes, barns​, and outbuildings by returning veterans (many of whom had fought in the Pacific theater) who used them as important physical elements in building their new lives.

Miyazaki is interested in examining the changing value of these institutional architectural forms. Buildings constructed as a result of wartime hysteria and racist attitudes became structures which helped to enable an American dream by another set of individuals.

The act of searching for the buildings and approaching their owners is an important element for Miyazaki, who was born and raised in Wisconsin. He is seeking traces of family history -- both his own and that of the current building owners -- and time is often spent sharing different, but uniquely American stories. Family histories intersect and are connected by the history of these buildings, and by the lives lived within their walls.

NOTE: the word “camp” is used by most Nisei, or first-generation Japanese Americans, to describe both the physical place they were held, as well as the overall wartime incarceration experience itself.

Kevin Miyazaki is a photographer and educator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He explores themes of family history and identity in his art work through lenses of place and memory. His Camp Home series was recently featured alongside the work of Ansel Adams on the National Geographic website. Miyazaki’s publication clients include The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Architectural Digest, Delta Airlines, AARP and Martha Stewart Living.

Sponsored by: Allegan County Community Foundation, The Big Read Holland, ​and Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs.

The Big Read Holland Area, a Hope College program, is a month-long community-wide reading program that takes place each year in the Holland area. It is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” program.  This year, The Big Read Holland Area has chosen Julie Otsuka’s When the Emperor Was Divine.

When the Emperor Was Divine transports readers to 1942, as it tells the story of Japanese-American internment from five points of view. The book invites readers to consider the troubling moral and civic questions that emerge from this period in American history such as being labelled as “other” or “criminal” in your homeland, coping with loss of home and community, reinventing one’s identity, issues of loyalty to country versus self or family.