Exhibition | TRANSCENDIENTS: Heroes at Borders by Taiji Terasaki | Contemporary Art at Japanese American National Museum | LOS ANGELES | Art Week

TRANSCENDIENTS: Heroes at Borders by Taiji Terasaki

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Saturday, 1 February 2020 to Sunday, 29 March 2020
Saturday, 1 February 2020 - 11:00am

The Japanese American National Museum is delighted to collaborate with Taiji Terasaki to present TRANSCENDIENTS: Heroes At Borders. Sharing the story of Japanese Americans—from the hardships and discrimination experienced during immigration, to the unjust and unconstitutional incarceration during World War II, to the fight for Redress and Reparations—lies at the core of the institution’s mission. Drawing from this, JANM welcomes the opportunity to focus further attention on the consequences of prejudice, fear, and misuses of power, along with “heroes” who confront and challenge the borders that are built to separate and exclude.

TRANSCENDIENTS, through multi-sensory experiences and provocative art, brings attention to both physical and conceptual borders and the people who have tirelessly worked towards inclusion, reconciliation, and understanding. Visitors are invited to question their assumptions, engage in thoughtful dialog with each other, and be inspired by heroes as they move through each space. Ultimately, this collaboration is intended to offer visitors opportunities to consider how they too, in their own ways, can contribute to a more just, fair, and compassionate society.

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Taiji Terasaki is a Japanese American artist based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Growing up in a family of scientists and creatives, with a formal arts education, Terasaki has spent more than 30 years exploring avant-garde innovations in his craft, working in photography, sculpture, immersive and large-scale installations, and pioneering mediums like mist projections as canvas. His cutting-edge presentations are often juxtaposed by the subjects of cultural and environmental conservation, preservation, and restoration.

Terasaki made his public debut in 2017 with REBIRTH at Honolulu’s Ward Center, and Edible Landscapes for the Trillenium in conjunction with “Contact 3017: Hawaiʻi in 1,000 Years” at Honolulu Museum of Art. That same year, his first solo exhibition, Feeding the Immortals, premiered at the Ravizza Brownfield Gallery. Stemming from Terasaki’s search for ritual and meaning in death following the passing of his father, the exhibit was comprised of mixed media works with ceramic, photography, vapor projections, video, and ceremonial performance—all honoring and paying tribute to those beloved who have passed on.

Since then, Terasaki has invested his considerable energy into large-scale and civic art projects. He had shown in Hawaiʻi, throughout the continental U.S., and internationally–most notably at the Curitiba Biennial in 2017. Terasaki’s most recent project, TRANSCENDIENTS: Immigrant Stories of Place, poetically holds space for the immigrant populations that comprise America, celebrating their contributions through technology-based storytelling, contemporary portraiture, and immersive experiences.

Driven to advance Honolulu’s arts community, Terasaki served on the board of directors for the Honolulu Museum of Art for many years and currently serves on the board of directors for the Honolulu Biennial Foundation. He is Board President of the Taiji and Naoko Terasaki Family Foundation, as a board member for the L.A.-based Terasaki Family Foundation, and as Board President of Art Explorium, a beloved nonprofit arts foundation for children that he co-founded with his wife Naoko and family friends Nate and Heather Smith. Terasaki most recently founded Terasaki Exhibitions, a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to inspire global change through art.


Terasaki studied in the MFA programs at both Hunter College in New York and Cal State Long Beach, and holds a BFA from UC Irvine. He currently resides in Honolulu with his wife and two children.

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100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90012

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