Wakaji Matsumoto’s photo studio, Hiroshima Shashinkan, set up after he returned to Japan from living in Los Angeles. (Courtesy JANM/Matsumoto Family)

The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) will host a free virtual program, “The Story of Wakaji Matsumoto: An Artist in Two Worlds,” on Saturday, Dec. 10, in English and Japanese from 5  to 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

 Guests can indicate their language preference during registration.

This program dives into the new online exhibition “Wakaji Matsumoto — An Artist in Two Worlds: Los Angeles and Hiroshima, 1917-1944,” which was launched in September. It includes a conversation about the historic significance of Matsumoto’s work and the story behind the collection.

Curator Dennis Reed and Wakaji’s granddaughter, Karen Matsumoto, will be joined by Masami Nishimoto, writer for the Chugoku Shimbun, and others involved with highlighting Masumoto’s work to delve deeper into his photographs and legacy.

Reed has curated a previous exhibition at JANM and is best known for rediscovering Japanese American art photographers whose works were lost during the World War II incarceration.

Matsumoto is the project liaison for the exhibition. She was executive producer of “Honor and Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story” (www.honordoc.com), a 2013 documentary about her father that featured her grandfather’s photographs and inspired her to share the collection with a broader public.

“This program spotlights the artistic and prolific work of Wakaji in two cities that he called home,” said Ann Burroughs, JANM president and CEO. “Through his photographs we can see the livelihoods of pre-war Japanese farmers in Los Angeles, the origins of Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, and daily life in pre-war Hiroshima. We look forward to learning about different aspects of Matsumoto’s work from Dennis, Karen, Masami, and others.”

“Wakaji Matsumoto — An Artist in Two Worlds: Los Angeles and Hiroshima, 1917-1944” highlights rarely seen early photographs of Los Angeles prior to World War II and of Hiroshima before the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb through the single lens of photographer Matsumoto. The exhibition also features essays by Karen Matsumoto and Reed, a timeline, photo galleries, short documentary videos produced by JANM’s award-winning Watase Media Arts Center, and educational resources. For more information, visit http://janm.org/wakaji-matsumoto.

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