Artist Masami Teraoka’s brand-new art publication, Floating Realities: The Art of Masami Teraoka, is a beautiful collection of his work throughout the decades. Sans text, the book tells a story through his abundant and relevant imagery and offers audiences a compelling visual experience.

Born in Onomichi, Hiroshima-ken, Japan in 1936 but trained and working in the west, Masami Teraoka has lived a long and prolific career that’s crossed borders as well as time. His works, which tend to depict a modern social or political narrative (i.e. the AIDS epidemic, abuse in the Catholic Church, and the Lewinsky scandal) are often done in a traditional style. His work has been featured at the Tate Modern, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and of course, the Honolulu Museum of Art.

The standard edition

The standard edition

In fact, the book features an introduction Teraoka had said here at HoMA before one of his artist talks in 2015. Museum Shop manager Cori Mackie found that it encapsulated his work and this new publication perfectly. Read the quote below:

“Compelling socio-political issues have inspired me to paint in a historical context. In the process of painting, my imagery evolves according to personal experiences and current cultural events. Where a verbal expression exhausts itself, my paintings take over to create a vision. Painting is a profound realm of experience that inspires and elates us. It is a mystery. My primal concern is to address the importance of human and individual rights within historical and current cultural environments. Creativity empowers our human soul. It is an almost unexplainable but irresistible power that presents itself in creative artwork. Visual poetry is the profound criteria that I strive for. To bring out social-political issues in a narrative form is a challenge that continues to motivate me to create.”  —Masami Teraoka

Another powerful aspect of the book for us here at HoMA is that it’s dedicated in memory to our late curator of contemporary art James Jensen. The two had a long history together—working together on events and exhibitions at HoMA—and shared a mutual love of contemporary art.

The limited edition run published by CSU Fullerton consists of 400 pages, 335 plates and several personal photos. Floating Realities has been published in two styles: the standard edition includes a dust jacket for $75, the special edition comes in a beautiful clamshell box (fabric bound, inset detail image, embossed with a silkscreened title and bone closures) for $150. The books are available in the Shop starting now.

Stay tuned for a book signing in early 2019!

The special edition

The special edition