|Opening reception & artist talk|
|There is an opening reception for Roger Shimomura from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., August 22, 2013. The artist will give informal walking tours of his work at 6:30 p.m. |
|Greg Kucera Gallery is very pleased to announce our eleventh exhibition of work by Roger Shimomura. Shimomura’s paintings address the politics of ethnicity and perspectives of the Japanese American experience. Through an aesthetic and political comparison between contemporary America and traditional Japan, the artist uses images from both cultures, creating a complicated layering of pictorial information and social observation. As his paintings and prints are interpreted and decoded by the viewer, Shimomura’s tangled intentions are revealed in a subtly political way.|
The title of this exhibition, An American Knockoff, references the United States’ popular culture’s attitude towards Asian Americans as not being real Americans, merely imitations. Many of Shimomura’s paintings portray the artist as various American, Chinese and Japanese icons while others portray him as himself doing battle with those same iconic figures in cartoon and pop references.
|I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, a city where ethnic diversity is standard fare; however, for the last forty years, I have lived in the Midwest, where the Asian American presence is still somewhat of a rarity. |
Since living in Kansas, I have found it to be routine to be asked what part of Japan I am from, or how long I have lived in this country. Just as common, subtle references continue to connect me to stereotypical “oriental” traits, both physical and behavioral. Far too many American-born citizens of Asian descent continue to be accepted as only “American knockoffs.” This latest series of paintings is an attempt to ameliorate the outrage of these misconceptions by depicting myself battling those stereotypes or, in tongue-in-cheek fashion, becoming those very same stereotypes.
- Roger Shimomura
Shimomura received a B.A. degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University, New York. He has had over 130 solo exhibitions of paintings and prints, as well as presented his experimental theater pieces at such venues as the Franklin Furnace, New York City, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
He is the recipient of more than 30 grants, including National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Painting and Performance Art. Shimomura is in the permanent collections of over 85 museums nation wide. His personal papers and letters are being collected by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Shimomura began teaching at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS in 1969. In 2004 he retired from teaching and started the Shimomura Faculty Research Support Fund, an endowment to foster faculty research in the Department of Art. He currently lives and works in Lawrence, KS.