Roger Shimomura : An American Knockoff
For four decades, Roger Shimomura’s paintings, prints, and theatre pieces have addressed sociopolitical issues of Asian America. He does this through a style that combines his childhood interest in comic books, American Pop Art, and traditions of Japanese woodblock prints, thereby evoking his Japanese ancestry while locating him firmly within modern American artistic developments. Through this artistic device, he is able to bring together a wild mixture of compositions that offer up patterns of criticism within visually compelling works of sumptuous color and lighthearted Pop directness.
In his recent work, under the banner, An American Knockoff (2009 to the present), Shimomura has taken on the long tradition of self-portraiture through the radical lens of cultural conflict. Two thematic directions – assimilation and resistance – are often fused together as the artist inserts himself as an aging Asian Everyman in various guises and situations, both funny and poignant.