Archivist of the “Yellow Peril”: Yoshio Kishi Collecting for a New America opened at MOCA in 2005. The show was co-curated by MOCA founder Jack Tchen. The “Yellow Peril” moniker was derived from a 19th-century phrase that originated from the supposed threat of the Asian diaspora to Anglo-Americans. This trope was popularized through the media with fictional characters such as Fu Manchu. The show displayed various Asian American artifacts from the personal collections of film editor Yoshio Kishi and actress Yah Ling Sun. The collection examines perceived identities of Asians and Asian Americans based around unflattering stereotypes in American literature, popular media, and paper ephemera.
To combat the negative depictions, Yishi also collected ephemera based around Asian American reflections on their own identity. These materials served to juxtapose the negative depictions in the exhibition. Notably, the Basement Workshop published the art book Yellow Pearl (1976), which showcased poetry, drawings, and sheet music from a collective of Asian American artists and activists.