Weston Teruya

We can feel the city breathing, spraypaint on paper, sculpture and foamcore, 60” x 120” x 65”, 2012, in collaboration with: with Aaron Aknin, Marie DiPasquale, Robin Ellner, Mark and Ben Erickson, Amy French, Margaret Gaynes, Hamid Ghaemmaghami, Sulwen Ma, Scott McKay, Jamila Rufaro, and Ann Vikovic

Weston Teruya is an artist and arts administrator born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai‘i and currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Weston received dual degrees from CCA: an MFA in Painting and Drawing and MA in Visual & Critical Studies. As an artist, he has had solo exhibitions at Intersection for the Arts and Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco and Pro Arts in Oakland. His recent shows have included exhibitions at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Weston has had residencies at the Montalvo Arts Center and Oliver Ranch Studio Artist Residency and was a recipient of a 2009 Artadia grant.

Weston has an installation on view through April 2013 as a part of Community Creates at the newly re-opened Palo Alto Art Center. He is also busy completing a public art commission of six large drawings for Highland Hospital in Oakland from the Alameda County Arts Commission.

Weston is represented by Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

video created by Kai Hsing for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

In addition to his artistic work, Weston works with the Cultural Equity Grants program of the San Francisco Arts Commission. He has also served as a grant panelist for the Center for Cultural Innovation and Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure program and juror for the Headlands Center for the Arts and CCA’s graduate fine arts program.


w e s t o n t e r u y a (at) g m a i l . c o m


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About Weston Teruya’s Thesis Project

Weston Teruya

Do Asian Americans Dream of Techno-Pirates?: Asian American Identities and Pirate Futurism in Contemporary Art

Pirate Futurists dream of other social possibilities. Formed through Internet pixel fictions and snippets of bootlegged Hollywood fables, their visual narratives intervene in the course of overdetermined tales to open new sites for agency and political critique. As an artistic practice, Pirate Futurism is equal parts pop-culture piracy and speculative imagination. It suggests an aquatic field, crisscrossed by futurist storytelling engines propelled by political urgency, twisting with currents of race, gender, technology, sexual identity, and varied nationalisms. When used to understand particular identities, as in this study in relation to Asian American identities, Pirate Futurism simultaneously offers an oceanic mobility that undermines gross essentialisms and a contextualizing map of intersecting identities and concurrent political critiques.This paper explores the work of three visual artists—Stephanie Syjuco, Glenn Kaino, and Jen Liu—and what their practices suggest for understanding and complicating the framework of Pirate Futurism. Syjuco’s pieces extrapolate from the information gaps in low-resolution digital imagery. Through sculptural forms and photographed tableaux, she exposes moments of productive difference between originals and self-consciously low-tech translations. Kaino’s filmic interventions undermine the scripted inevitability of conflict and violence in Asian American and African American communities as told in Hollywood celluloid. Liu produces karaoke video fictions critiquing the traces of failed utopian politics in popular culture. Her pieces invite audience members to sing along to faux national anthems accented with hair-metal grandiosity, thereby deflating the fascist underpinnings of her sources.

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