Masami Teraoka Poster – an ACLU-HI Exclusive!

“McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan/Chochin-me”, 1982
through the generosity of the artist, this high quality lithographic print  is available only from ACLU of Hawai’i, with proceeds supporting local ACLU programs. Ships only within the U.S., please allow 3-6 weeks for delivery.
  • Full Color 24″ x 16″ poster
  • Archival paper
  • Image size 19″ x 12.5″
  • A limited number of artist-signed copies are available

Masami’s webpageis a great source for information on his other works.

Poster (Unsigned) Poster (Signed, Non-ACLU Member) Poster (Signed, ACLU Member*)
   $35
$70
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 $50
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*Please type your member ID in the “Special Instructions (optional)” section when it appears.

Note that pricing will be calculated based on domestic U.S. shipping. At this time, we do not ship outside the United States.

Masami Teraoka the Extraordianary Contemporary Artist

by Nan Kaaumoana

The ACLU of Hawai’i is honored to present a work of art by Masami Teraoka. Teraoka’s work is known and respected, not just in his adopted home of Hawai’i, but throughout the world where he is recognized as an outstanding contemporary artist. He and partner Lynda Hess have recently donated a poster, designed exclusively for the affiliate, depicting Teraoka’s 1982 water color painting “McDonalds’s Hamburgers Invading Japan-Chochin-me”. Proceeds from the posters will support ACLU’s legal and education programs.

Masami Teraoka was born in Onomichi, a small town between Hiroshima and Osaka on the Inland Sea in 1936. Art was always a focal point of his life and his first influences were the subtle colors and patterns seen in his family’s kimono shop fabrics and his grandmother’s collection of woodblock prints. He studied aesthetics at Kwansei Gakuin University in Kobe and, encouraged by his family, came to the United States in 1961 to attend the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles from which he graduated with a BFA and an MFA in 1968.

Coming from Japan and experiencing America’s consumerist culture had resulted in Masami’s own “culture shock” and so the emerging American Pop Art Movement of the time attracted him through it’s good-natured satiric cliches of the mass culture. He began combining its elements with the bright color and strong design of kimono fabrics and, especially, the important elements of ukiyo-e, woodblock prints, to create his own unique style as a vehicle of commentary on both the cultures – America and it’s commercialism and the fast changing face of Japan.

Ukiyo-e woodblock prints were the genre painting of the Edo period in 17th to 19th century Japan. At that time ‘high art’ was reserved for religious, imperial and literary works. Print artists ranked low on the social scale. They produced art commercially for the average person and were often subject to governmental censorship. Traditional woodblock print artists explored single themes with a number of related images and this has become a pattern in Teraoka’s work. Ukiyo-e prints were always associated with the “floating world” of geishas, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers and the like. Geishas figure prominently in much of Teraoka’s early work.

Masami Teraoka’s style is unique, utilizing the traditions of Japan and drawning from the two disparate traditions that constitute his own life experience, he displays subtle sensibility and often trenchant commentary via the medium of watercolors, not woodblocks. His “McDonalds’s Hamburgers Invading Japan ” series was begun in 1974. The “31 Flavors Invading Japan” Series followed as did his “Los Angeles Sushi Series,” illustrating the reverse cultural influence of Japanese food and culture on America.

He moved to Oahu following an exhibit of his work here in 1980. The “Haunama Bay Series” in which both Japanese and Americans enjoy and despoil the same areas, the “Wave Series,” and “Hawaii Snorkel Series,” among others, are Hawaii inspired works. His art, however, surpasses geographical boundaries.

As the years have passed and the world has gotten darker, so too, has Teraoka’s vision darkened. His outstanding “AIDS Series” depicting the irony of the gift of love bestowing horrible death shocks the viewer into needed awareness. The “Adam and Eve Series” and his “Cloning Eve” series protest and illustrate the suffering and violence of modern life and the loss of humanity in the ‘virtual reality’ of today’s technological era. Teraoka continues to make us face what our society has allowed our lives to become.

The ACLU poster is representative of Teraoka’s “McDonalds’s Hamburger’s Invading Japan” series. A geisha in a flowered kimono, seen only from the knees down, stands in high-heeled geta. On the ground around her feet are two images of contrasting cultures, a chochin lantern and a hamburger. The lantern is used to light the way for the spirits of the ancestors who return to their homes each year in the summer, Obon, and perhaps invites us to wonder what the ancestors would think of modern Japan. The partially eaten McDonalds’s hamburger speaks for itself. It has been dropped to the ground along with a tissue usually associated in art with the geisha’s courtesan experience. The cartouches add a traditional Japanese effect.

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