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The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art presents "Roger Shimomura: Minidoka on My Mind"
Roger Shimomura (American, born 1939), Night Watch #7, 2011. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.

ITHACA, NY.- The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University presents Roger Shimomura: Minidoka on My Mind, on view from August 10 to December 22, 2013.

Roger Shimomura’s series of paintings draws upon on his and his family’s experiences at Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho, one of the internment camps where Japanese American citizens were detained by the U.S. government during World War II. Through the bright colors and graphic conventions of Japanese ukiyo-e prints and Pop art, Shimomura stingingly exposes the dismal living conditions and humiliation of incarceration and its lingering effects, while at the same time honoring the resilience of this community in the face of injustice.

Shimomura’s Minidoka series is part of a larger body of work that engages the sociopolitical issues of Asian American experience, and serves as a metaphor for current times, calling attention to the ways that perceptions of crisis and impending threats continue to test America’s commitment to its ideals.

The presentation of Shimomura’s work coincides with the campus and community reading of Julia Otsuka’s When the Emperor Was Divine (2002). This exhibition was curated by Ellen Avril, chief curator and curator of Asian art at the Johnson Museum. The Museum is grateful to Cornell’s 2013 New Student Reading Project for its support of this exhibition and the artist’s visit to campus.

On Thursday, September 19 at 5:15 p.m., Roger Shimomura will discuss his work at a free talk at the Johnson Museum.

The Museum will host a community read discussion on Sunday, September 22 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Visit for more information about the Community Read.

On Thursday, October 3 at 12:00 noon, curator Ellen Avril will lead a free “Art for Lunch” discussion of the exhibition.

The Johnson Museum has a permanent collection of more than 35,000 works of art from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. The museum building was designed by I. M. Pei. Funds for the building were donated by Cornell alumnus Herbert F. Johnson, late president and chairman of S C Johnson. The building opened in 1973 and a wing opened in 2011.

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