Roger Shimomura

His childhood internment with other Japanese-Americans during World War II is a theme Roger Shimomura has explored before. Raised in Seattle and now based in Kansas, the artist spent an unhappy portion of his youth behind barbed wire in Idaho. Bright flowers and birds provide little grace notes of color to his bleak depictions of Camp Minidoka. The lipstick and floral dresses worn by its women also defy the drabness. Shimomura's recollections are presented is a crisp, clean style: Pop art meets comic strip, only without the captions, which you can supply yourself. Amid the rigid prison grid (suggestive of cartoon panels), he often decenters his subjects, subtly pushing the frame to reveal nature outside the windows like a Japanese scroll. Personal? Yes. But also, after six decades, quite familiar. These sad stories have been told and painted many times before. For that reason, Shimomura's ongoing Yellow Terror show at Wing Luke should also be seen to gain a fuller sense of his work. BRIAN MILLER

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 18. Continues through March 27, 2010

 
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