Roger Shimomura Biography

Roger Shimomura

painter, performance artist
Born: 6/26/1939
Birthplace: Seattle, Wash.

Shimomura was born in Seattle's Central District. His first few years were spent interned with his family at the Puyallup State Fairgrounds while permanent camps were being built by the U.S. government. Soon he and his family moved to Camp Minidoka in southern Idaho. His father was the first to leave, told by administrators to seek employment outside the Western coast. They settled briefly in South Chicago. After the war ended, the Shimomura family was permitted to return to Seattle, where Shimomura developed his interest in art. He served two years as an artillery officer in Korea, then moved to New York where he worked as a graphic designer. In 1969, he received an M.F.A. in painting from Syracuse University. Shimomura's bold, illustration-like artwork deals with Asian stereotypes and prejudices, and often references his family history. Shimomura has written 35 performance pieces, and his paintings are in the permanent collections of the National Museum of American Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and Microsoft.

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