Roger Shimomura confronts racism, stereotypes with art

In this episode of our FACEism series, we look at how Roger Shimomura fights prejudice by using his own face in his art.

ByDavid Ono via WTVD logo
Friday, October 2, 2020
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In this episode of our FACEism series, we look at how Roger Shimomura's art challenges stereotypes and racism in America.

LOS ANGELES -- If you enjoy the art of Roger Shimomura, you'll see his face a lot.

He puts it on George Washington, Superman, Dick Tracy. But behind the face is a powerful message, and to understand his art, you have to know where he's been.

He's dealt with the same question a thousand times.

"Where are you from?"

Shimomura recalls one conversation where he was asked that question, calling it perhaps one of the most important in his career.

Suddenly he wanted his art to reflect his life, dealing with a country that has not been welcoming to someone who looks like him.

In the video above, Eyewitness News explores how Shimomura fights prejudice by using his own face in his art.

It's all part of the "FACEism" series that seeks to examine stereotyping and move toward a better understanding of each other.

See part 1 of the FACEism series, on the history of blackface, here.