30 12 2012

Masami Teraoka




Sarah and Dream Octopus (New Wave Series, 1992, watercolor on paper 20" x 30")
Sarah and Writhing Octopus (New Wave Series, 1992, watercolor on paper 22.75" x 30")
Eight Condom Fantasy (New Wave Series, 1992, watercolor on paper 22.5" x 30")


"My McDonald's Hamburgers Invading Japan and 31 Flavors Invading Japan Series in the 1970's and AIDS Series in the 1980's reflect my cultural heritage from Japan. The Ukiyo-e or wood block print tradition represents my cultural identity. Geisha and samurai images I use are a way to depict traditional-thinking Japanese people.

After the 1980's financial bubble burst, decades of Japanese affluence took a nosedive. In the early 1990's, Japanese culture declined along with the economy. It was as if the country lost all of her momentum. This became a major impetus for me to shift my focus from Japan to the United States. I realized that Japanese were going back to their rigid traditional molds- such as young girls serving tea at the office- rather than the blossoming I'd seen where young women were able to work freelance jobs to support traveling around the world on vacation. 

This was also a time when I marked having lived longer in the United States than in my birth country of Japan, I felt that my departure time from Japanese themes in Ukiyo-e style had arrived. I looked for a new challenge. I shifted my focus from Japan to the United States, towards Europe and the world. This new set of sociopolitical and cultural issues demanded a more painterly and rich textural surface than the transparent watercolor I had been using. I felt my media had to be something more expressive in order to bring out the complexity of volatile national and international issues.

- Masami Teraoka with Lynda Hess"




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