Slanted Perspectives. MFA Graphic Design Graduate Show/David Toyoshma


Images from my solo Master's of Fine Arts Exhibition at California State University, Long Beach (April, 2018). My thesis focused on my family and my own experiences confronting racism and negative stereotypes toward Japanese and Asian Americans. My mom and dad's family were sent to Internment Camps during World War II (Manzanar and Heart Mountain). They passed along their stories of pain and injustice to me. Growing up post WWII, I was teased and bullied for being Asian. Even as an adult, I would get, every so often, stereotypical (if not racist) comments. One section of the show is on the old Far East Cafe in Little Tokyo. The historic "Chop Suey" restaurant played an important part of JA history and culture.
Today, despite strides made by Asian Americans and mending old wounds, racism in America is on the rise. Asians may well be considered "model Americans," yet we face continual "digs." "There's too many of us at UCLA." "We've 'taken over' good paying jobs in the tech industry." "China is our greatest political and economic foe." There's an underpinning of "yellow menace" with those kinds of statements. I invite you to peruse and reflect. To get a better look at my show, go to:
My MFA Show is dedicated to late mother and father. Just prior to my show's opening, my father fell and subsequently died (he was 96). While my dad lay in the hospital in intensive care, I considered cancelling my show. My dad really wanted to see me finish, and attend. He told me to carry on. Days before opening night, he passed away in his sleep.
I hope what I've accomplished and continue to work on are fitting tributes to my mom and dad, and all Japanese Americans who've endured so much hardship.
Thank you.

David Toyoshima
MFA Graphic Design
Thank you

Slides in this album 

Make it Manzanar

"Travel Posters" that sarcastically and ironically probe the issue of Japanese American Internment during WW2. The idea came from the U.S. War Department Propaganda that tried to portray internment life is fun and carefree. It was neither.

Contributed by: toyoshimad

Innocent (banner)

All JAs, including children, were considered by the U.S. Government as "military threats." JAs were described as "evil," "yellow devils" and the like.

Contributed by: toyoshimad


Throughout my life, I've gotten comments from largely non-Asians, stereotypical comments like, "Were you born in this country?" "Do you know how to make sushi?" "Do you know karate?" "You must be good at math." And so on. After awhile, it gets really annoying. I look Asian, so I must …

Contributed by: toyoshimad

Asian Angst Graphic Novel/Strips

Growing up in Long Beach, CA (at the time, home port to the U.S. Navy) I was met with a lot of bullying. Kids' dad's and uncles served during WWII, maybe even at Pearl Harbor. Being one of few Asian/Japanese American kids in the neighborhood, I got picked on. I …

Contributed by: toyoshimad

Far East Memories

The old Far East Cafe was a familiar and beloved part of Little Tokyo. Far East served more than "China-meishi," they were an important part of the community serving as a  place to gather, celebrate, and mourn. After WWII, the restaurant owners provided meals and lodging (there was a hotel …

Contributed by: toyoshimad

Album Type

online exhibition

toyoshimad — Last modified Jun 28 2021 1:49 a.m.

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