The UMC art gallery’s new exhibit, “Three Suites of Internment,” by artist Roger Shimomura, is a collection of cartoon-like, pop art prints depicting life in the Minidoka Concentration Camp for the Japanese in World War II.
During World War II, Shimomura and his family were placed in an internment camp. The art on display in the UMC is a reflection of the time he spent in internment. Some of the pieces are also images created from a journal that Shimomura’s grandmother kept while she was in internment.
“The artwork was chosen to correlate thematically to the reading that the ‘One Book, One Boulder’ program (a program that tries to promote community reading and discussion) has chosen,” said Kristian Anderson of UMC administration. “This year, the group is reading ‘When The Emperor Was Divine.'”
At the reception, students, professors and community members walked quietly through the gallery, pausing to enjoy each of Shimomura’s brightly-colored lithographs on the gray walls. They were accompanied by piano music as well as snacks and fruit punch.
“The artwork is moving. It’s a vivid representation of a tragic period in American history,” said Kyle Waldrop, a sophomore classics and English major.
When asked what she thought of the piece, “Yellow No Same,” illustrating Mickey Mouse and a Japanese man separated by barbed wire, Carly Lang, sophomore English major, said, “I think the work is ironic. I like the juxtaposition of the internment camp and an American icon.”
Shimomura’s artwork will be on display until Sept. 29. He will be giving a speech in the gallery about his work on Sept. 20 at noon.
Anderson said, “Given the political climate, I hope (students) who come to the gallery question inequality and internment camps when they see the artwork.”