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Montana Western Presents “Deep Echoes” by Miya Hannan

February 15, 2024

The University of Montana Western Fine Arts Gallery is proud to present "Deep Echoes", an installation by artist Miya Hannan. A closing reception will be held on Friday, March 22 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the UMW Fine Arts Gallery.

Soot on paper, each piece 81” x 30”, 2023 

This exhibition will run from March 11 to March 23, 2024. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The closing reception on March 22 is free for all to attend and will feature light refreshments. 

This exhibit is part of the 2024 “Japanese Festival in Western Montana”, organized by Nao Fukumoto 福本菜央, Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) Coordinator, to be held in Dillon on March 22 and 23. Miya Hannan is scheduled to deliver presentations daily during the festival at the UMW campus in Main Hall room 156. On March 22, there will be two sessions: one from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and another from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The presentation on March 23 will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Deep Echoes” is part of a project that is inspired by Japanese immigrants who crossed the Pacific Ocean in the late nineteenth century to work for a railway company in Montana. This work was done to send money back home to support their families. Thinking about how much hope, expectation, and fear Japanese immigrants held when crossing the ocean, Hannan deeply shares the same feeling as an immigrant who also crossed the Pacific Ocean for a better life. This project is a reminder of the Japanese workers who were never able to go back to their homeland, their voices hidden within the ocean. Hannan views the world as one comprised of layers and linkages of history, a chain of lives and events that leads from one to the next. Landscape is the record of these histories. Using the image of nature and physical objects from nature as triggers for narratives and identities of people, Hannan’s artwork tries to preserve stories that are almost forgotten or, otherwise, lost.  

Hannan has been actively showing her work in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. She is a recipient of the 2023 Nevada Council Artist Fellowship Grant. Her artist’s book, a collaboration project with Brighton Press in San Diego in 2017, is now in the collections of over 30 institutions including the Getty Research Institute, Library of Congress, and Stanford University. She was awarded many artist residencies, including the Jentel Artist Residency, Open AIR Artist Residency, MT, and the Red Gate Residency in Beijing, China. In 2012, she was commissioned by TEDxSan Diego to create an installation for their meeting. She also received the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award from Mesa College, San Diego. Before coming to the United States, she received a bachelor’s degree in medical technology and worked for a hospital for seven years in her native country, Japan. She is now an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. 

This exhibition is supported by the Japan Foundation New York, the Japan Outreach Initiative program, the University of Montana Western, and the Dillon Public Library. In addition to this exhibit, there will be several workshops and presentations including games, calligraphy, and tea ceremonies throughout Dillon during the Japanese Festival. There will also be a presentation about Montana’s sister state’s relationship with Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan.

For more information about the exhibition, please contact Montana Western Fine Arts Gallery Coordinator, Jennifer Boysen: [email protected].