Santa Fe Reporter - Camp Legends

Charlotte Jusinski
03/04/2009

   The bold colors, clean lines and graphic novel styling of roger Shimomura’s paintings draw the viewer in with their cheery pop-art façade.  When the viewer considers the paintings’ subjects, however a more sinister focus emerges.  Shimomura spent three years of his young life in Minidoka, a Japanese-American internment camp in Idaho, during World War II.  While the history of these internment camps has been explored in such novels as Snow Falling on Cedars and several nonfiction works, the details of this particularly ugly period in American history are greatly ignored by mainstream history narratives.  Shimomura, throughout his 40-year career, has focused greatly on themes of racism and social justice, from Minidoka through today.  Minidoka On My Mind is Shimomura’s forth series of painting to focus on internment camps, and his presentation, “An American Diary,” details his unique life’s work.