Yasuo Kuniyoshi: American\Asian American\Japanese American
Born Okayama, Japan
Japanese-born artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi immigrated to the United States as a teenager and began his early training on the West Coast before moving to New York City. During the 1930s, he worked for the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration and began teaching at the Art Students League in 1933. Despite his decades in the United States, he was classified as an enemy alien following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Kuniyoshi remained opposed to Japanese militarism, even doing work for the U.S. government’s propaganda office. After the war he shifted his style and subject matter to reflect his conflicting feelings and loyalties about the outcome of the war. This photograph was taken after World War II, around the time he became the first president of Artists Equity and shortly before his one-person show at the Whitney Museum, its first exhibition devoted to a living artist.