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“Shapes, Lines And Light: My Grandfather’s American Journey”
Katie Yamasaki discusses “Shapes, Lines And Light: My Grandfather’s American Journey”

Katie Yamasaki is a muralist and children’s book artist. She has traveled widely, painting over 80 murals with diverse communities around the world that explore local issues of identity and social justice. Her children’s book work focuses on similar themes of social justice and stories from underrepresented communities.

Her most recent book is “Shapes, Lines, and Light.” The book spotlights her grandfather, Minoru Yamasaki, who described the feeling he sought to create in his buildings as “serenity, surprise, and delight.” Here, Katie charts his life and work: his childhood in Seattle’s Japanese immigrant community, paying his way through college working in Alaska’s notorious salmon canneries, his success in architectural school, and the transformative structures he imagined and built. A Japanese American man who faced brutal anti-Asian racism in post–World War II America and an outsider to the architectural establishment, he nonetheless left his mark on the world, from the American Midwest to New York City, Asia, and the Middle East. This striking picture book renders one artist’s work through the eyes of another, and tells a story of a man whose vision, hard work, and humanity led him to the pinnacle of his field.

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