Bruce and Norman Yonemoto

Last Name: 
First Name: 
Bruce and Norman

Norman Yonemoto was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1946, a year after their father Tak, who was in the Army, married his mother Rosie, who was incarcerated in Tule Lake concentration camp. They returned to California, where Bruce was born in 1949 in San Jose. Norman moved from the Bay Area to Los Angeles in 1968, where he attended UCLA before concentrating his studies at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Studies. Bruce received a Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972. The following year he went to Japan where he lived for three years while studying at the Sokei Bijitsu Gakko (Sokei Art Institute) in Tokyo. After returning from Japan in 1975, Bruce went on to receive an MFA from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. In 1976 Norman and Bruce embarked on their first collaborative work, an ambitious film project entitled Garage Sale. They formalized their partnership in 1979 when they founded their own company, Kyo-dai Productions. Captivated by what was then a relatively new artistic medium, Bruce and Norman went on to work in video. The brothers played a central role in establishing video as a viable artistic medium. The Yonemotos' work has been included in numerous exhibitions at major institutions such as the Long Beach Museum of Art; the Santa Monica Museum of Art; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Screenings of their films and videos have been held at many sites, including the American Film Institute, Los Angeles; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Anthology Film Archives, New York; Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, California; Kunstverein, Cologne; and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Their work has also been presented at other international venues in Holland, France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Spain. Bruce and Norman are the recipients of many awards and grants, including several National Endowment for the Arts grants, the 1993 Maya Deren Award for Independent Film and Video Artists, the 1993 American Film Institute Independent Film and Videomaker Grant, and a 1998 Rockefeller Foundation Intercultural Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship.