Presented in our viewing room is A selection of works by Masami Teraoka 1979-2013, an intimate exhibition that spans Masami Teraoka's career, from early works on paper and woodblock prints to a recent jacquard tapestry based on an original watercolor. Teraoka has explored the impact of globalization initially through the lens of a Japanese point of view, and in later years from the vantage point of a hybridized social and self-identity. The first twenty years of his career, Teraoka investigated the clash of East and West, juxtaposing Japanese Edo style, ukiyo-e, and cultural icons, such as geishas and samurais, with American pop culture, consumerism, and references to societal issues, such as AIDS. Beginning in the 1990s, he drew inspiration from Western medieval and Renaissance painting styles and compositions, contrasting traditional Western imagery with contemporary issues, like the Catholic Church sex scandal. This particular exhibition presents a survey of Teraoka’s early imagery, to which he is returning and repurposing in the tapestry Tattooed Woman on Sunset Beach (2012-13). A wonderful, rare work on view, New Wave Series/Full Moon Review (1992), responds to the culture wars of the late 1980s, in which American artists were threatened by possible censorship, caught between conservativism and freedom of expression. The work graphically portrays a liason between a woman and an octopus, with Senator Jesse Helms, the crusader of the religious movement, in a front row seat. Teraoka has consistently subverted traditional imagery with contemporary culture, and will continue to explore the correlated relationship between time, history, and culture in the years to come.
Teraoka was born in 1936 in Onomichi, Japan, and first earned his BA from Kwansei Gakuin University, Kobe, Japan. He received his BFA and MFA at the Otis Art Institute. Teraoka has been widely exhibited and reviewed internationally, with solo shows at institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian, the Honolulu Museum of Art, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. His work is owned by numerous public collections such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Tate Modern (London), and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He lives in Waimanalo, Hawaii and has been represented by Catharine Clark Gallery since 1997.