Resplendent is a project that examines difficult issues of post-war Japanese history, inspired by letters in support of Nagasaki Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima’s controversial statement that Emperor Hirohito accept a share of the responsibility for World War II. The installation deals with the ambivalent symbolism of the cherry blossom in Japan during the war, which was manipulated into a symbol that granted a kind of poignant beauty to the actions of those who were sacrificing their lives in battle. Its symbolism intensified in the last years of the war, even when some Japanese military leaders were aware of defeat, during which the largest numbers of casualties occurred. In the center of the floor are nine individually blown bell jars, each sloping up to a gentle point and sandblasted with the emblem of the cherry blossom. In the center of most of the paper cherry blossoms on the walls are faces. The faces come from a book made to remember World War II casualties from a small town in Japan.
Lynne Yamamoto’s work has drawn wide recognition for its formal integrity and innovation. Her solo exhibitions include Genteel at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle and the Oresman Gallery at Smith College, Smooth Cayenne at P.P.O.W. and the Mattress Factory, Resplendent at the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute and P.P.O.W, This, and my heart at the Rhode Island School of Design, The Long Twilight at the Whitney Museum at Philip Morris and Submissions at the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu. Her work has also been exhibited internationally in Brazil, Japan, Poland and Denmark. Yamamoto’s awards include an LEF New England Contemporary Work Fund Award, a Penny McCall Foundation Award, a Japan-US Arts Program grant from the Asian Cultural Council, a grant from the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship. She is an Associate Professor in the Art Department at Smith College.