Japanese American National Museum
Media Arts

Through Our Own Eyes

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THROUGH OUR OWN EYES was a 3-screen laser-disc installation featured in the inaugural exhibition, Issei Pioneers: Hawaii and the Mainland, 1885-1924, at the Japanese American National Museum from 1992-1994.

It featured early 16mm home movies taken by Issei (first generation Japanese immigrants) pioneers that were subsequently deposited in the Photographic and Moving Image Archive of the Japanese American National Museum for preservation. The installation was presented throughout the day in three separate nine-minute segments on three monitors, four laser discs synchronized by a computer program. Enhancing the historical as well as artistic presentation, the sound track consisted of popular American and Japanese songs from the era including a rendition of “My Blue Heaven” sung in Japanese.

THROUGH OUR OWN EYES speaks eloquently to the power of the moving image to evoke feelings and provoke imagination. . . .Nakamura found just the right balance of artistry and humility—the artistry to structure a coherent and meaningful experience and the humility not to impose contrived meaning.” —Robert Rosen, Speaking About Film, KCRW

Release date: 1992

Production Credits:
Directed and Edited by ROBERT A. NAKAMURA

27 minutes. Color.

Award of Merit, Chicago International Film Festival, 1994



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