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Roger Shimomura: an American knockoff

october 7, 2016 - january 14, 2017

at Belger Arts Center

“An American Knockoff”, a traveling exhibition uniquely curated by each hosting gallery, comes to us from the Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, which has a long history with Roger. The show will highlight Roger as a painter, with more than two dozen acrylic works on canvas. Throughout the exhibit you will see Shimomura on canvas with recognizable American icons such as Porky Pig, Goofy the Dog, and Uncle Sam.

"I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, a city where ethnic diversity is standard fare; however, for the last forty years, I have lived in the Midwest, where the Asian American presence is still somewhat of a rarity.

Since living in Kansas, I have found it to be routine to be asked what part of Japan I am from, or how long I have lived in this country. Just as common, subtle references continue to connect me to stereotypical “oriental” traits, both physical and behavioral.

Far too many American-born citizens of Asian descent continue to be accepted as only “American knockoffs.” This latest series of paintings is an attempt to ameliorate the outrage of these misconceptions by depicting myself battling those stereotypes or, in tongue-in-cheek fashion, becoming those very same stereotypes."

- Roger Shimomura