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Kobayashi, Kenge Transcript Part 5
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TitleKobayashi, Kenge Transcript Part 5
Date2009-04-05
IntervieweeKobayashi, Kenge
InterviewerUhlig, Elizabeth
TranscriberUhlig, Elizabeth
SubjectJapanese Americans
Art
Painting
Art Education
Geographic SubjectLane County (Ore.)
Original FormatMicrosoft Word
Data of Digital Converstion2010-07-01
Original CollectionJapanese-American Association of Lane Co., OR, Oral History Collection
Other FormatsPDF
RestrictionsPermission to use must be obtained from the Oregon Multicultural Archives, OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center.
Digital FormatPDF
LanguageEnglish
Full TextJapanese- American Oral History Project Kenge Kobayashi Date: June 3, 2006; August 11, 2007 Place: Eugene, Oregon Interviewer: Elizabeth Uhlig Part 5 – 9: 33 minutes 00: 00 EU: This is Elizabeth Uhlig and I'm talking with Kenge Kobayashi in his home in Eugene. Today is August 11, 2007. And Kenge is talking about his paintings. Kenge, can you start and talk about the painting in camp? KK: I did a lot of paintings in camp – I was in camp, I was 15 years old. But I lost it all with all the moves we made. The paintings I have now is something I did about 5 years ago out of memory, my own memory. It's just a painting of our camp, mountain in the background, the barracks, the people, the guard towers. EU: This is in Tule Lake? KK: In Tule Lake, yes.. EU: Who are the people in the painting, anyone in particular? KK: No, just some people walking. And I just wanted to show the bleakness of the barracks that we lived in and the barbed wire and the guard tower. EU: What kind of statement did you want to make? Kk: Well, I just wanted to show what we were up against in World War II. And just wanted to show how we were living under guard by the soldiers who were watching. To show that we were actually prisoners of war, because the guards were keeping their guns pointed at us so we won't escape And we had all those high fences that was keeping us from running, taking off from camp. So it was just a miserable feeling, when you have all the things guarding you and Oral History – Kenge Kobayashi 2 you don't have the freedom of doing whatever you wanted. It's a feeling of you being a prisoner, you know. EU: When did you paint this painting? KK: I just painted it about five years ago. EU: About 2002? KK: Yah, I just thought I wanted to paint something that I remembered. And so it's all done by memory. EU: Is it a watercolor? KK: Yes, it's a watercolor. EU: Is that the medium you generally paint in today, watercolor? KK: Yes, yes. 3: 40 EU: OK, and then. This other, this picture of the two boys? Can you talk about that? KK: They're my grandkids. The two boys are very close friends, they're cousins. But they are very close friends. So they were arm in arm. This is during when we were out camping, out in the woods. So I entered that into the Mayor's Art Show, and it got the grand prize, the Mayor's Art Show prize. So I'm kinda proud of that. EU: What year was that? Do you remember? KK: That was 19 – about four years ago. EU: Four years ago, so about 2003? KK: Yes. Oral History – Kenge Kobayashi 3 EU: What are your grandsons' names? KK: Ryan and Adam. EU: And where was that displayed? Where was the Mayor's Art Show? KK: In Springfield. This is the Springfield Mayor's Art Show. 5: 00 EU: OK. And then we took a picture of you sitting at your desk there with your painting and your brushes. Could you, so you said now you mostly do watercolors? KK: Yes. And I teach watercolor at Peterson Barn and at Lane Community College. So I teach watercolor three hours a day. And so it's an enjoyment I have in my retirement. EU: What kinds of things do you usually paint? What are your themes? KK: I like to paint anything in Oregon, because Oregon's such a pretty place. So I do a lot of scenery painting, like lighthouses or bridges of Oregon Coast, and the forest, and then animals And then I also do portraits of all my grandkids which I have eight- nine of them, nine grandkids. EU: When, do you make these paintings always in your studio here or do you go out in nature and paint? KK: Most of the time I go out and take pictures, photographs of and then I bring it home and I paint. I paint either at home or in class, ‘ cause I do a demonstration in class and I usually paint whatever the photographs I took. EU: And then who are your students? Are they of all ages? KK: Yes, they are of all ages. Mostly, most of the people in my classes are retired. But there are a lot of young ones, high school - college age. But so I have a variety of people and a variety of talent. So that makes it interesting for me. Oral History – Kenge Kobayashi 4 EU: How would you compare, like the teenagers or the young people with retired people? How, do, is it, the way they paint, is it that different? KK: Oh, yah, it's a lot different. The young people, they are not afraid to take chances and so they do, you know, something that's not, it's not ordinary. They do weird things, and designs, and whatever they want to do they do. But the older people are more conventional, they paint pictures that they took photographs of. Or they're very conservative, very conservative, afraid to put down colors and all that, and so it they are good, though, there are some very good painters in our class. But it takes time for them to get the idea. But the young people they take chances so they're good already. But I enjoy teaching because - they keep me alive. I'm now 81 years old and I think by doing this it keeps me alive. EU: OK. Thank you very much. KK: OK. End of Part 5 9: 33
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