Masami Teraoka is an OG artist hailing from Onomichi, Hiroshima-ken, Japan. Teraoka’s watercolor paintings are inspired by Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, but unlike the works of other artists who may have produced pieces in the same fashion, Teraoka’s work explores social issues, such as the clash of Eastern and Western cultures, AIDS, cultural globalization, and even the homogenization of world tastes through the establishments of fast food chains on an international scale. Remember folks, if you’re going to be hittin’ the sack with anyone (or with an octopus)…make sure you wrap it up!
“In the 1980s, my watercolors became large scale in an effort to depict the subject of AIDS, and I took my Ukiyo-e derived paintings to a darker realm. Since the late 1990s, I have been producing large-scale narrative work addressing social and political issues, especially the abuse of children by priests. My recent large-scale paintings are inspired by Renaissance paintings but continue the narrative quality of Japanese woodblock prints.
…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.”