welcome to dejima island

Re-imagining the colonial history of Dejima Island through ironic souvenirs and flotation devices.

From left: 1. Birds eye depiction of Dejima Island 2. Japanese nobleman Hasekura Tsunenaga's conversion to Christianity 3. Bay of Dejima 4. Philipp Franz von Siebold, resident physician stationed at Dejima with wife Taki Kusumoto and baby daughter Ine Kusumoto

From left: 1. Birds eye depiction of Dejima Island 2. Japanese nobleman Hasekura Tsunenaga's conversion to Christianity 3. Bay of Dejima 4. Philipp Franz von Siebold, resident physician stationed at Dejima with wife Taki Kusumoto and baby daughter Ine Kusumoto

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The Portuguese were the first Europeans to land in Japan, bringing Chinese imported silk, tempura recipes, baker's confections, weapons, and most contentiously, Western religion. Threatened by the overwhelming popularity of Japanese-Christian conversions, the Japanese government prohibited its citizens from leaving the country and constructed an artificial island to imprison the Portuguese missionaries. The island, built in 1634, was named "Dejima Island" and literally translated as "Exit Island."

The parallel between globalism and exploitation of non-Europeans is inherent in both the glorified era of the 1500's European explorer and the birth of mass tourism fueled by the Western public from the mid-20th century onward. Inspiration for the color palette and graphics came from vintage 1950's travel posters, encouraging Americans to explore "exotic" lands often at the expense of degrading local culture and the environment.

1. 1950 American Airlines Travel Poster, 2. Elvis Presley with Bongo Drums 3. Pacific Island Entertainment Show

1. 1950 American Airlines Travel Poster, 2. Elvis Presley with Bongo Drums 3. Pacific Island Entertainment Show

DEJIMA SAFETY VEST

INFLATABLE TEMPURA LIFE-RING

"ESCAPE" FOAM POOL FLOATIE

"ESCAPE" DETACHABLE PILLOW

 
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