I Am an American – Exhibition

735 NW 18th Avenue
Portland OR 97209

April 18, 2022 – May 20, 2022
Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm

Across the United States and certainly within Oregon, Asian Americans have historically been subjected to xenophobia and discrimination. Government policies and court decisions have in some cases added to the bias and bigotry aimed at Asian Americans. Hate crimes targeting Asian Americans are on the rise. Many Asian Americans say they have felt a sense of cultural erasure.

The Immigrant Story, in collaboration with eminent Portland photographer Jim Lommasson and conceptual artist Roberta Wong, is presenting a powerful new exhibition, “I Am an American: Stories of Exclusion and Belonging.” This important presentation includes photographs, objects and conceptual art, all designed to draw attention to the experiences of Asian Americans.

The exhibition’s title,  “I Am An American,” intentionally brings attention to the 80 years since Japanese Americans were targeted by the government during World War II. The slogan became a rallying cry for all Asian Americans, who even today are still trying to combat xenophobia, hateful rhetoric and the resulting violence. One piece on exhibit, Roberta Wong’s “All-American,” aptly depicts the abrupt and painful experience of Chinese Americans who literally severed their queues from their heads to assimilate into Western culture. 

The exhibition displays large portraits of six Asian American women along with Jim Lomasson’s selection of objects with their accompanying narratives. The display focuses on different facets of Asian American experiences from the endurance of many layers of adversity, to the strength revealed by a person who has decided precisely who to become.

I Am an American: Stories of Exclusion and Belonging will run from Apr 18, through May 20, 2022 at the PLACE, located 735 NW 18th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209, Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm.  Schedule your time for your visit by appointment: place@place.la. I Am an American: Stories of Exclusion and Belonging was made possible by a generous contribution by Anne Naito-Campbell. Additional funding was provided by a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program.


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