"Roger Shimomura: An American Knockoff"

January 17 – March 29, 2015

Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery

Organized by the Museum of Art at Washington State University at Pullman, Washington, this exhibition features the artwork of Seattle native and Lawrence, Kansas-based artist Roger Shimomura whose paintings weave together his childhood interest in comic books, American Pop Art and traditions of Japanese woodblock prints. The resulting art evokes his Japanese ancestry while firmly placing him within the landscape of modern American artistic developments. The exhibition will include a range of paintings and prints from the early 1970s to the present, with an emphasis on his recent work.

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.

The companion exhibition Roger Shimomura: Works on Paper has been organized by Director John Olbrantz and explores a range of prints created during the past twenty-five years, drawn from local and regional collections and opens November 8, 2014 and continues through February 1, 2015 in the Study Gallery and Print Study Center.

Shimomura taught as a professor at the University of Kansas between 1969 and 2004. His work appears in over 90 museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of American Art and the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian.

Financial support for the exhibition has been provided by grants from the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission, with additional funding provided by the Willamette University Office of Multicultural Affairs.




Roger Shimomura: Works on Paper
November 8, 2014 - February 1, 2015
The Maribeth Collins Lobby and the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery


An American Diary
Roger Shimomura
Friday, January 23, 2015
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The Legacy of Heart Mountain
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
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Within the Silence
Presented by Living Voices and written by Ken Mochizuki
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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The Cats of Mirikitani
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
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Tuesday Gallery Talks
Starts Jan. 20, 2014 and continues through Mar. 24, 2015
Tours commence at 12:30 p.m.
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