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Catalog Data

Artist:
Roger Shimomura, born 1939  Search this
Sitter:
Roger Shimomura, born 1939  Search this
Medium:
Lithograph
Dimensions:
Image: 74.9 × 25.4 cm (29 1/2 × 10")
Sheet: 85.2 × 33.2 cm (33 9/16 × 13 1/16")
Type:
Print
Date:
2012
Exhibition Label:
Now retired, Roger Shimomura spent his career as a professor at the University of Kansas. As a painter, printmaker, and performance artist, he continues to focus his artwork on the experiences of Asian Americans and the obstacles they face. When Shimomura was a small child during World War II, he and his family (all American citizens of Japanese descent) were relocated from their home in Seattle to a Japanese American internment camp in Idaho. His work often addresses that experience, as well as the racist stereotypes used to characterize Asian Americans. Shimomura creates self-portraits as a way to investigate his own identity vis-à-vis popular imagery. Here, he depicts himself as Superman, flying through the air. Noting that his image interrogates "whether Superman must be Caucasian to be complete," he also explains that the "term buddha-head was a World War II term used by the Japanese American soldiers among themselves."
Ahora retirado, Roger Shimomura fue profesor de la Universidad de Kansas durante toda su vida laboral. Su obra en los campos de la pintura, el grabado y el performance se ha centrado en las experiencias de los asiático-americanos y los obstáculos que enfrentan. Cuando era niño, durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, él y su familia (todos ciudadanos americanos de ascendencia japonesa) fueron desplazados de su hogar en Seattle a un campa- mento de reclusión para japoneses-americanos en Idaho. En su obra aborda esta experiencia y los estereotipos racistas con que se caracteriza a los asiático-americanos. Shimomura usa el autorretrato para explorar su identidad en relación con las imágenes de la cultura popular. Aquí se representa como Superman, volando por los aires. Observando que la imagen cuestiona "si Superman debe ser caucásico para ser completo", el artista explica que "buddhahead era un término que usaban los soldados japoneses- americanos entre ellos mismos durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial".
Topic:
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses  Search this
Imaginary  Search this
Costume\Outerwear\Cape  Search this
Cartoon  Search this
Self-portrait  Search this
Roger Shimomura: Male  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; acquired through Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
Object number:
NPG.2017.24
Restrictions & Rights:
© 2012, Roger Shimomura
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.2017.24