Japanese American Artist
Artists usually have a peculiar way of designing the artwork, which is often influenced by their life experiences. Roger Shimomura is a typical example of the one. Shimomura is a Japanese American artist who was born on June 26, 1939 when the Japanese were attacking the US in the Pearl Harbor and participating in World War II. The period was characterized by political upheavals that forced Shimomura and his family into an internment camp in Puyallup. Shimomura later attended the University of Washington, where he studied commercial design. Shimomura grew up in the US, which became his adoptive country, and was subjected to a series of discriminations and other sociopolitical issues. His formative experiences and Japanese heritage spurred Shimomura to create his theaters, pantings, and prints and primarily concenrate on depicting the issues related to sociopolitical discrimination, stereotype, and racism. The paper seeks to discuss how Shimomuras artwork evoke aesthetic emotions, outline how Shimomuras art was influenced by being a Japanese American, and the ways how the same level of skills, talent, and insight as those of Shimomura can be handled.
Shimomura’s artworks are emotional and passionate as they explore a theme of discrimination and bondage experienced by the third generation Americans, Japanese, and other Asian Americans. Many of Shimomura’s artworks send expressive and sensitive messages to me as well as to other audience. He succeeds in creating a simply outstanding paintings and prints with plain and bright colors. Additionally, Shimomura captures my sentiments through his pop art style. The pop art appeared to be more imaginative in avoiding a direct attack. Hence, when addressing crucial issues of racism, Shimomura chooses to deliver his message by confronting and using boldly pointed tableaux .
The subject of racism and slavery is sensitive, and Shimomura managed to draw a picture that narrates these ordeals. The pictures evoke compassion and frightening feelings as some images show the brutality of the US officials. Shimomura appeared to be speaking his mind through images, which displayed the oppression suffered by the Japanese in the US. Some paintings reveal bloody and vibrant scenes of warfare between the Japanese and the US in the World War II. In the paintings, the Japanese Americans are portrayed as hopeless since the future is indiscernible. They realized they could not change the situation but still strive to adopt the new environment. To create such images, the artist chooses to use dark paintings to express a depression of the Japanese community; and my mood darkens whenever I encounter Shimomura’ pictures painted dark.
Moreover, Shimomurass artistic presentation induces a feeling of admiration and interest about the pictures. Appealingly, Shimomura’s art pieces are magnificent and reflect the Japanese culture. He achieved this by incorporating the hybrid of pop and ukiyo-e types of the Japanese art and style. Additionally, I noticed Shimomura joined the irreverence funk and the impudence of pop to capture the feelings of his audiences. The theme of stereotyping is captured in a hyphenated cultural group, such the African Americans and the Chicanos. For instance, Shimomura’s works on Betye Saar possess the element of stereotypical kitsch pieces and imagery of black images, such Little Black Sambo and Aunt Mamie. Nonetheless, through the aesthetic representation of the past, which appears distant, I can encompass the creative imagery in the present.
Depiction and symbolism instilled an exquisite feeling as it creates an imaginary picture in my mind. Shimomuras pictorial representation focused on depiction and symbolism to enhance its effect on the audiences. Being an Asian also implants a sense of belongingness in me due to its tangibility and strong metaphoric conception. The artist achieves such an effect by imitating the appearance of iconic objects. I noticed that many of Shimomura’s paintings were crafted to resemble the natural and manmade features. Additionally, some of the paintings could have an exact resemblance to the iconic Japanese leaders and warriors. The resemblance of the picture helps to depict the relativity of the intended message as well as create the imagery to instill feelings on the targeted group.
The sythesis of two cultures is visible in his artwork. Shimomura’s artwork mainly revolve around the Japanese culture and only a little around his American life. Shimomura artwork is believed to have been influenced by his experience and the diaries his grandmother kept at the camp. Since ancient times, dairies have been a highly regarded form of Japanese literature. Shimomura’s grandmother is a typical representative of the Japanese heritage, and her diary was a valuable source of information as she had experienced a different form of culture. The dairy contained a description of weather patterns, domestic tasks, and other despairing information that revealed a hidden anger. His grandmother also provides Shimomura with a perfect blend of the Japanese and American interactions. Additionally, her dairy contributed a lot to many of Shimomura’s artwork as they appeared to be filled with broad understanding of the Japanese culture. As much the diary gives a glimpse of Japanese life inside the internment camp, the paintings give a strong impression of how they felt in the camp. Therefore, the paintings can be attributed to Shimomura’s grandmother, even though she did not participate directly.