This print by Roger Shimomura depicts a traditionally dressed figure from the Japanese Edo period gazing into a mirror that reflects back Mickey, an iconic figure of mid-century America. Throughout his career, Shimomura has looked towards art history and the works of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein while also incorporating the influence of Edo period prints. A face reflected in a mirror was a common trope in ukiyo-e, or floating world, woodblock prints. As used by Shimomura, the mirror underscores the differences between the reflection and the person holding the mirror. The subject gazes at a vision of themself in a moment straddling between cultures, a simultaneous desire to achieve acceptance and a forced assimilation into a homogenized dominant white society.
Roger Shimomura, Mickey, 2016, color lithograph on paper, 14 x 13 inches. Museum purchase with funds provided by 2018 Collectors’ Circle Members Susan Holden and Olivia & Gary Zahler. 2018.48.03. © Roger Shimomura, image courtesy the Artist.