On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which resulted in the forced removal and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans. They were charged with no crime. The cause of their imprisonment was their ancestry.
This exhibition recognizes the 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066, and explores historic and contemporary issues of racism, discrimination and human rights.
The inspiration for the exhibition came from Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner, a book of poems by Lawrence Matsuda and artwork by Roger Shimomura.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether you go or not, Minidoka Revisited: The Paintings of Roger Shimomura is a powerful compilation of the vibrant work of artist Roger Shimomura. It chronicles experiences of racial and ethnic stereotyping endured by Asian Americans in recent history, including everyday instances of cultural insensitivity. The paintings included span twenty-five years of Shimomura's work including early work that chronicles his family's experiences leading up to and during their internment, and more recent work revealing 'snapshots and stories' of experiences of racial and ethnic discrimination faced today by the artist and other Asian Americans.
In addition, the inspirational book of poetry Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner: Poetry and Artwork Inspired by Japanese American Experiences contains 38 poems by Matsuda and 18 original illustrations by Shimomura including three images and cover art from Shimomura’s past work. The poems are arranged in chronological order except for “Barry the Psychiatrist” that begins the collection. Thereafter, the topics move from the 1942 forced incarceration to the period after the war, then to friends/family, and end with the Fukushima disaster.