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