Roger Shimomura

Roger Shimomura is an American artist. He painted a lot of paints like « Remember Pearl Harbour » and « Not Pearl Harbour » in 2003


On the first paint, we can see an elderly American woman and a younger Japanese pilot. He has got yellow skin and slanting eyes. Indeed, the Japanese soldier is domineering thus threatening both the old lady and the viewer. The woman felt threatened and she’s looking upward. There is a contrast between the yellow and the dark to show the opposition with the good and the evil. The artist’s goal is to show the atmosphere at the time in the USA and to denounce the way Americans viewed the Japanese people as dangerous people.


On the second paint, there are Asians faces with enormous teeth, an exaggerated large smile, slanting and mean looking eyes. The artist illustrates in a comic-book style. The airplanes refer to World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbour. We can think that the artist wanted to bind this paint to the attack on the World Trade centre Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001 because the 3 characters look like Arabs. It is nevertheless necessary to understand that Roger is an artist who wants to cause and to make laugh in order to say something concrete.



Angel Island

From 1910-1940, Chinese immigrants were detained and interrogated at Angel Island immigration station in San Francisco Bay. U.S.  Men and women were separately and spent much of their time in the barracks. The immigrants expressed their fears through messages and poems written. Some immigrants were detained during years. Angel Island can be compared to Ellis Island. Both immigration stations were meant to regulate migratory flows towards America. The immigrants could be viewed with suspicion by some Americans. The immigrants were afraid of staying for a long time on this island or of being deported to their country.

For example: Don Lee narrates the Asian immigration in the USA in 1910 at 1940 during an interview for a radio report. Indeed, he relates hi arrival on Angel Island. He narrates his experience when he was 11 years old, when he left to join his father in America. Over these years, 1 million immigrants from 90 different countries went through a difficult ordeal. Eventually, he landed in Angel Island.

Historic photo of im mmigrants on Angel Island Pier



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