Roger Shimomura: Mistaken Identity
Macalester’s Law Warschaw Gallery, together with the Twin Cities Japanese American Citizens League, are pleased to present an exhibition from prolific American artist Roger Shimomura. Throughout his extensive career, Shimomura’s work has provided stealth commentary addressing sociopolitical issues of ethnicity. The exhibition includes a range of works on paper from the past 25 years which point to the history and confused ideals of racial exclusion in America.
In these works, Roger constructs a hypothetical history based on research from his grandmother’s diary, public archives and photographs, as well as his own family photos. Roger reveals the dismal conditions in the camps idealized through a traditional Japanese ‘floating world’ style. This visual separation from the historical event renders the incarcerated through an exoticized lens and leverages foils like barbed wire, windows, and mirrors, to heighten and question the separation between American-ness and Otherness. Using absurd caricatures, poignant humor, and riffing off of preconceptions for ‘what kind of art Japanese artists make,’ Roger catches us in our own judgements and misconceptions – a past, and unfortunately, present-day mistake.
Roger’s work, while fabricated, recalls a real historical moment, now 75 years ago, in which Japanese Americans were excluded from a general populous. These experiences continue to influence his investigations on race, identity, and their misconceptions, as he experienced them throughout his career. The exhibition presented now, in 2017, offers a strident reminder of the conditions for fear which might place false distinctions between Americans.
January 27th, 2017
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
January 27th – March 10th 2017
1600 Grand Ave. St. Paul, MN
Wallace Fine Arts Center
Law Warschaw Gallery
More information can be found at the Macalester College website.