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Linda Ohama

Linda Ohama

May 8-June 2, 2014
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

Celebrating Asian Heritage Month, the gallery is proud to exhibit two works by award winning director/producer and visual artist, Linda Ohama. Born and raised on a potato farm in Rainier, Alberta, Ohama is a third generation Japanese-Canadian. Many of Ohama’s works focuses on the themes of cultural heritage and family, like Watari Dori (A Bird of Passage) a print made in support of the Redress campaign for Japanese Canadians. The two featured works, Obachan’s Smile and Inherited Gifts tell the story of her grandmother Asayo Murakami, the central narrative of Ohama’s 2001 documentary, Obachan’s Garden.

“In 1923, Asayo Murakami left Hiroshima and settled in a fishing village in Steveston, BC. Her family remembers a happy woman who sang, danced and nurtured a colorful flower garden, but underneath, the memory of what she left in Japan haunted her deeply.

Delicately peeling back the layers of her grandmother’s life, filmmaker Linda Ohama discovers a painful, buried past. In poignant interviews, Asayo, now 103 years old, recalls life in Japan, her arrival in Canada as a “picture bride”, her determination to marry a man of her choice, the bombing of Hiroshima and the forced relocation of her family during World War II.” – Obachan’s Garden, 2001.

The documentary film can be found and streamed online on the National Film Board website.