Photos from California

Gardiner is in California at the moment. Pictures were taken while out on her walk in Japan town, San Jose. Due to the corona virus situation only a few restaurants were open she explained. The images she shares leave certain impressions; quiet, secretive and even lonely.


Storefront images made me wonder if these businesses are closed due to the corona virus or are they in business at all? I am imagining this as a place where the local Japanese Americans come and hang out. Business that functions as a community center… so rare these days but probably vital to a healthy and functioning community.
Such a simple storefront. No sign, no decoration, what kind of business could this be? I like that attitude that it does not need to cater to everyone.

I asked Gardiner a few questions about the images.
She says “Aesthetically I like the monochromatic palettes, the asymmetrical balance and the patterns and textures. The feeling they evoke for me is a sort of longing for the past, and a curiosity about what Japanese American communities would be like if they had not been disbanded by the war. I also like the idea of small businesses because so much of what I encounter in the US are big chain stores, so a little barbershop owned by someone named Sakamoto-san gives me natsukashii.”
I want to continue the conversations and interview her as I feel it let me understand Gardiner and also something about Japanese-American community a little better.

to be continued…

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