Roger Shimomura, b. 1939
Kai-Dan
1976

Acrylic on canvas
72" x 144"

General Fund, City of Seattle Portable Works Collection


Roger Shimomura, a third-generation Japanese American, creates paintings and performance pieces blending an ironic mixture of Japanese imagery and American popular culture. A native of Seattle, he and his family were sent to an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. Over the past decade, Shimomura has devoted much of his work to exploring the emotional and psychological hardships of the internment experience based on the diaries of his grandmother. More recently, however, he has taken a more lighthearted approach to the serious themes of xenophobia, racism, and cross-cultural interface, consistently drawing our attention to the sometimes hilarious ways in which different cultures overlap.