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Little Tokyo Stance

public art, inkjet on vinyl

location: Brunswig Square, 211 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California

commissioned by Sustainable Little Tokyo for Windows of Little Tokyo

2018

photos by Elon Schoenholz

Little Tokyo Stance, located at the Brunswig Square storefront, is a figurative homage to generations of Japanese Americans who have loved and labored on behalf of their historic community: the first generation Issei pioneers who came to Los Angeles and established livelihoods, raising families and building local economies; the artists who reclaim folk traditions as a vital act of resistance to the erasure of cultural difference; and the Asian American activists, for whom community organizing is a form of stewardship of past generations’ labor and sacrifice. Framing the figure grouping are two trees that continue to stand and bear witness to more than a century of history: the Aoyama Tree at the former site of Koyasan Daishi Mission and the Wolfskill Orchard grapefruit tree that continues to bear fruit. Passersby are invited to consider what taking a stance means at this moment in Little Tokyo’s history.