Who Was Google Doodle Ruth Asawa? Facts and Quotes From Famous Wire Sculptor

Google is celebrating Asian-American Pacific Islander month by releasing a doodle of famed sculptor Ruth Asawa. The month of May is Asian-American Pacific Islander month also called Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States.

Born in 1926, Asawa was a teenager during World War II. Her family was forced to go to a Japanese internment camp where she, her five siblings and her mother lived in two horse stalls. That's where she gained new abilities in art that she learned from other inmates in the camp some of whom were animators with Walt Disney Studios, according to Google.

google doodle ruth asawa artist
The Google doodle Tuesday was made to honor artist Ruth Asawa for Asian-American Pacific Islander month. Google

After 16 months of forced internment, she was able to attend college to become an art teacher. She was prevented from finishing her education three years in when she was stopped from completing her student teaching due to her Japanese-American heritage. Following this racist setback at the Milwaukee State Teachers College, she transferred to North Carolina's Black Mountain College.

Once at the exploratory Black Mountain College she developed her art further and honed her abilities in sculpture while learning from some of the formative artists of her time. She worked with wire specifically to create some of her best-known art and her work is on display all over the world.

She compared her looped wire sculpture pieces to medieval mail and said that the shadows would "reveal the exact image of the object." She also worked with tied wire sculpture and electroplated work as well as cast sculpture.

Ruth Asawa Quotes:

"Sculpture is like farming. If you just keep at it, you can get quite a lot done."

"I hold no hostilities for what happened; I blame no one. Sometimes good comes through adversity. I would not be who I am today had it not been for the Internment, and I like who I am," she said in 1994 at the age of 68.

"Teachers there were practicing artists, there was no separation between studying, performing the daily chores, and relating to many art forms. I spent three years there and encountered great teachers who gave me enough stimulation to last me for the rest of my life — Josef Albers, painter, Buckminster Fuller, inventor, Max Dehn, the mathematician, and many others. Through them I came to understand the total commitment required if one must be an artist," she said about her time at Black Mountain College.

"Learn something. Apply it. Pass it on so it is not forgotten," she said about teaching.

"Art will make people better, more highly skilled in thinking and improving whatever business one goes into, or whatever occupation. It makes a person broader," she said about the role art can play in one's life.