A graduate of the Vancouver School of Art, Norman Takeuchi’s early career combined exhibition design (Expo 67, Expo 70, Canadian Museum of Nature) with painting. In 1996 he left his design career to become a full-time artist and has since participated in many solo and group exhibitions. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Canada Council Art Bank; Carleton University Art Gallery; Confederation Gallery, Charlottetown, P.E.I.; The Ottawa Art Gallery; Mitel Corporation; and in private collections in Canada and abroad. He currently lives in Ottawa.
When, in February 1942, the government of Mackenzie King invoked the War Measures Act and ordered the expulsion of 22,000 Japanese Canadians from the west coast, my family was among them. Like others, my parents were issued demeaning government identification papers before they left their home taking with them only the small amount of possessions allowed. I was only five then and therefore have only faint memories of what happened but the events of that time still haunt and sadden me.
This work, "A Measured Act", is a personal statement about that traumatic time in my life and in the lives of many thousands of Canadians of Japanese descent whose identities were shattered but who managed to persevere and rebuild. By creating this assemblage of paper kimonos embellished with words and images, I have made concrete what for so long had remained ghostly. It was satisfying work.