Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Roger Shimomura Interview
Narrator: Roger Shimomura
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary); Mayumi Tsutakawa (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 18 & 20, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-sroger-01-0049

RS: And I decided that I was ready for a shift in, in my work. And that I wanted to do a series of narrative paintings. And the first thing that popped in my head was camp. And, because the "Oriental Masterpiece" series was pretty much about just looking Japanese. They were pretty much based upon ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and other than changing themes from single figures to landscapes, to other very kinds of mundane themes, there was no sort of narrative or political content to the, to the work. So I decided that I would do a series about Minidoka, but I decided that I would keep them in that ukiyo-e style. Because I wasn't ready to deal with it as, in a very sort of frontal manner. And I was a little wary of that. And my, my thought at the time was there were people that did that in camp, people like Mine Okubo, and who was I, all these years later, to try to do work that looked like I was making paintings of camp, as though it were going on at the time. And I also felt like it would be more conceptually interesting to keep it in that style.

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