Monday, November 21, 2016

Flashback: Roger Shimomura's 2015 Show at Hallie Ford was too Timely

National politics isn't really a topic possible to touch on in any meaningful or useful way here.* But Teapot Dome and Watergate may soon seem like quaint episodes from a bygone era. We are living in important times, crisis times, and it seems dumb just to go merrily along thinking or complaining about local land use and transportation. Maybe there will be a way to work in some larger perspectives this winter and in an on-going way.

In the meantime, it's a good time to remember Roger Shimomura's show at Hallie Ford Museum of Art from early 2015.

Classmates #1, Roger Shimomura
(via Hallie Ford Museum of Art)

(unknown, but clearly an internment camp)

(barracks in same)
From the museum:
Museum Director, John Olbrantz says, "As a painter, printmaker, and performance artist, Shimomura's range of works address the sociopolitical issues that have shaped his life experiences as a third generation American of Japanese descent. His remarkable body of work acts as a powerful and compelling self-portrait and window into the Asian American experience."

A number of Shimomura's early works address his childhood experiences at the internment camp of Minidoka during WWII, while in his current series, the artist inserts himself as an aging Asian Everyman in various guises, both funny and poignant. He does this as an imposter, or a battler against a host of ironic, stereotypical settings: punching at a gaggle of Disney cartoon characters, joining Chinese Mao-era brigades, and attacking Japanese stereotypes and assuming identities of iconic American figures such as Superman.
More images at his Seattle gallery.

* Comments are closed. There are other, better places to discuss national politics and what to do. Find them! Willamette Week might have the best local analysis. From a more global and worst-case perspective, "Autocracy: Rules for Survival." Scholars who study authoritarian regimes are worried and sounding the alarm.