Maleng Regional Justice Center
A suite of prints depicts a Japanese internment camp during World War II.
Born in Seattle’s Central District in 1939, Roger Shimomura was two years old when he and his family were imprisoned at Minidoka, a Japanese American internment camp in the Idaho desert. One of ten such camps, Minidoka held more than 13,000 Japanese Americans between 1942 and 1945.This suite of six lithographs at the Maleng Regional Justice Center “attempts to capture some essential visual features of the interior camp environment,” Shimomura says, such as the tar paper barracks, barren landscapes, barbed wire, and guard towers that made up Minidoka’s immutable view.
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Based in Lawrence, KS, where he taught at the University of Kansas for 35 years, Shimomura often provokes thought and debate about identity and social perception through his paintings, which frequently combine American pop culture, traditional Asian tropes, and stereotypical racial imagery. His artwork has been exhibited across the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and Israel, and is held in many public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Other 4Culture commissions include a mural in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.
About the Location
Maleng Regional Justice Center The Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, WA, contains one of the most significant collections of public artwork ever commissioned by King County for a single facility. The collection includes architecturally integrated and site-specific installations as well as many diverse portable artworks— drawings, paintings, photographs, and prints—created especially for the site by Northwest artists. Beginning…
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