MASAMI TERAOKA (b. 1936)
Masami Teraoka was born in 1936 in Onomichi, Japan and attended Kwensei Gakuin University in Kobe, Japan before emigrating to the United States in 1961 and receiving his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California. His first major series of works out of college reflected the influence of both Japan and the United States in his life: The works resembled traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock printmaking but also incorporated American pop-cultural images, such as hamburgers and ice-cream. Since then, Teraoka’s work has taken on more controversial political topics, such as the AIDs crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, while continuing to incorporate stylistic elements from eastern and western art history.
More recently, Teraoka’s The Cloisters are a series of works that adopt the triptych altarpiece format popular in Medieval and Renaissance Europe and the artistic style of Northern Renaissance masters such as Pieter Bruegel. With this anachronistic artistic format and style, Teraoka addresses contemporary political topics such as the Clinton impeachment, 9/11 terrorist attacks, artistic freedom in Russia, and the threat of nuclear war.
Teraoka has been the subject of more than 70 solo exhibitions, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1979); Yale University Art Gallery (1998); New Albion Gallery in Sydney, Australia (2012); and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (1996). His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; and the Gallery of Modern Art in Scotland among other institutions.