I am a queer Filipino-Japanese American artist living and working in the Bay Area. Focused on facilitating a critical dialogue about historical and institutional inequity, I utilize personal narratives for public consumption. I am an image-maker who re-contextualizes personal family photographs and cultural materials. My art references my own experience as a mixed race person living in a white dominated society. The work contends with the Japanese internment of World War II and the resulting anti-Asian prejudice of its “yellow peril” propaganda. Using autobiographical materials, my art endeavors to highlight a grave injustice that is consistently disregarded by western society and that has established an ongoing legacy of harm towards Asian Americans. I am currently working on restorative art practices in an effort to create an avenue for personal and communal healing. While the exploration of trauma is a key component to my work so far, it is not enough for the art to chronicle historical violence. I strive to process my lived realities in a manner that repairs instead of re-harms. My most recent work combines the process of meditation with the visual repetition found in many of my other projects. Through multiplicity I am trying to gain a better understanding of the emotional elements of making.
Marlene Iyemura is a Bay Area native and Mills College student. Dedicated to unearthing historical trauma, Iyemura references the inequities of WWII’s Japanese internment in relation to their lived experience as an Asian American person. Recontextualizing family photographs with cultural crafts, Iyemura confronts viewers with the pervasive legacy of systemic racism by accentuating its impact on their childhood experience.