WELCOME TO DEJIMA ISLAND
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. Fearful of losing political influence and threatened by the overwhelming popularity of Japanese-Christian conversions, the Japanese government banned all forms of Christian practice, prohibited its citizens from leaving the country and constructed an artificial island off the coast of Nagasaki to imprison the Portuguese missionaries and other foreign influences. The island, built in 1634, was named "Dejima Island" and its literal translation means "Exit Island."
This project is an attempt to re-imagine the colonial history of Dejima in the form of ironic souvenirs, postcards, and flotation devices. 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 the local culture and environment.
DEJIMA SAFETY VEST
INFLATABLE SHRIMP TEMPURA LIFE RING
"ESCAPE" FOAM POOL FLOATIE