"As a third-generation Japanese-American, I am seeking to understand a history that has erased culture and denied physical presence. The identities of our parents and grandparents are strongly tied to the experience of the Japanese-American concentration camps of the Second World War. It formed and informed their sense of a Japanese-American community and its relationship to the larger American culture.
For the third, and now the fourth, generation, who did not experience the camps but who live with the residue of its influence on the older generations, the development of an identity is at risk. The concentration camp scattered the Japanese-American community. This, in effect, caused the next generation to grow up in isolation, not having a Japanese-American community to identity with or learn from. To complicate the issue, we find ourselves struggling against the mainstream's insistence on thinking of us as either Japanese or as refugees based upon our physical appearance.
In my work, I am looking for that Japanese-American culture and identity which is neither Japanese nor Anglo-Saxon."
Dorothy Imagire, Artist Statement