Shimomura’s Reflections on His Career and Legacy
This Module's Related Archives:
Toku Shimomura Diary
History as Art: Japanese Incarceration
Roger Shimomura Chronology
Roger, what would you anticipate or hope that your legacy as a visual artist might be?
If my work is seen as raising more questions than it answers, I’d be pleased, because I’m not sure what those answers are. People might argue this—that maybe I suggest answers—but I don’t really mean to. I would hope that as soon as one answer seems to be more important than another, then another question will come up that will shift the discussion in another direction. It’s only through a healthy dialogue by a lot of diﬀerent people that ultimately we’re going to make this thing function in one way or the other. What’s important is that we’ve created a climate where we all listen to each other, and maybe debate what the right answers are, for that time at least. Because I think they do change over time and generations.
Well, on that note, perhaps we’ve come to a good point to wrap up, and I’ll just ask one ﬁnal question: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Somehow I feel that a lot of the ripples that I experienced earlier in my career sort of smoothed themselves out. Much of that has to do with the fact that as you get older, people become less critical of your work, they become more accepting, “This is what he’s going to do regardless of what’s said about it.” There’s a certain kind of peace about that. There is, for lack of a better word, a nice kind of peacefulness about just sort of plugging away and working and feeling at home. And that’s something I couldn’t have said ten or twenty years ago, but feel good about saying now.
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