Faulconer Gallery to open Shimomura "Yellow Peril" traveling exhibition
Confronting racism. Revealing prejudice. Skewering stereotypes.
"Return of the Yellow Peril: A Survey of the Work of Roger Shimomura, 1969-2004" will open on Aug. 22 at Faulconer Gallery with 60 bold works by the American artist. "Yellow Peril" is a chronology of paintings, prints, found art sculpture, and photo documentation that Faulconer Gallery director and exhibition curator Lesley Wright says, "demonstrate the artist's love of popular culture while using it to skewer the prejudice and stereotyping he has encountered over four decades.
"Shimomura's deft, wry humor and remarkable skill come together in his work to dig deep at his identity, our cultural assumptions, and the marvelous follies of contemporary American art," Wright says. "We are eager to bring Shimomura's work to Grinnell because of the interdisciplinarity of his way of making art and the strength of his social conscience."
Shimomura, who is professor emeritus of art at the University of Kansas, incorporates images from Japanese woodblock prints, Pop Art, and styles from comic books and advertising. Many of his works explore the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, based on his grandmother's diary entries and his own memories as source material.
"Shimomura is a significant artist because of his charged, social subject matter," Wright said. "As an artist, he is as interested in art issues as he is in racism and prejudice." Throughout the "Yellow Peril" exhibition, Aug. 22-Oct. 26, Faulconer Gallery will host events that relate to Shimomura's themes of confronting racism:
- Aug. 29: Opening reception at 4:15 p.m.
- Sept. 5: Gallery talk by visiting professor Tiffany Johnson Bidler on "Pop Art, Comics, and the Yellow Peril," at 12:30 p.m.
- Sept. 10: Panel discussion by Grinnell faculty and students on "The Peril of Marginalization" at 4:15 p.m., co-sponsored by the Center for Peace Studies.
- Sept. 12-14: Showing of the documentary "Cats of Mirikitani," at 8 p.m. Shimomura was involved in making this film about a Japanese homeless artist in New York City following 9/11.
- Sept. 24: "Translating Loyalty: Working with Minoru Kiyota on the Account of his World War II Internment," at 4:15 p.m. The lecture by 1965 Grinnell graduate Linda Klepinger Keenan will relate her experiences translating Kiyota's book.
- Oct. 3: Gallery talk on "Ukiyo-e Prints and the Work of Roger Shimomura" by Grinnell senior Chris Farstad at 12:30 p.m.
- Oct. 9: Scholars' Convocation at 11 a.m. by Shimomura, who will present his work in the context of life experience and how Americans treat one another.
- Oct. 11: Community Day, 1-3 p.m., with hands-on activities to reinforce family identity.
- Oct. 12: Panel discussion on "Democracy in Peril on all Sides: World War II Veterans Reflect," at 2 p.m., co-sponsored by the Center for Peace Studies, the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, and the World War II Task Force.
All events are in Faulconer Gallery unless otherwise noted. The traveling exhibition, on display Aug. 22-Oct. 26, is a program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment for the Arts. Gallery hours are Sunday-Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information about the exhibition and related programs, call 641-269-4660 or visit the Faulconer Gallery site. For more information about the artist, visit www.rshim.com.
Image: Roger Shimomura Oriental Masterpiece #1, 1971 From the Oriental Masterpiece series Acrylic on canvas Courtesy Lonny Kaneko