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.
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.
EMBED More News Videos

If someone asks "What's wrong with blackface?" a look at the history of segregation and Jim Crow laws in this country may help provide an answer.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.