Over the years, his artwork evolved from light-hearted satire to strident critique and from paintings and prints to assemblages and performance art.
A third-generation Japanese American, Roger Shimomura (b. 1939) has emerged as an elder statesman of contemporary social commentary. For almost forty years, his art has focused on racial insensitivities levied at Asian Americans. Named after the series of paintings the artist completed in 1993, the exhibition title Return of the Yellow Peril plays on the derogatory color metaphors for Asians that originated in the 19th-century. After he joined the art faculty at the University of Kansas in 1969, Shimomura began creating art inspired by his experience as a Japanese American. Over the years, his artwork evolved from light-hearted satire to strident critique and from paintings and prints to assemblages and performance art. This exhibition will testify that “Roger Shimomura is always the skeptic, but never a cynic,” says Dee Harris, Mid-America’s director of visual arts and humanities. “He’s pursued the art of social commentary while grounded in an ongoing hope for positive change.
This exhibition is a program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance, with the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.