Takigawa’s early years were punctuated by parental admonishments to “be American!” It was critical to become educated so that he might protect himself from the injustices they experienced, although these experiences were not fully explained. At the same time, Japanese traditions and values were passed on to Takigawa and his brother who grew up between two cultures. They traversed the Japanese and the American cultures as best they could. This project’s title, Balancing Cultures, derives from Takigawa’s personal struggle to reconcile cultural attributes that were often contradictory.
Decades have passed since Executive Order 9066 was enacted. Many Americans are only now learning of this history. Takigawa believes that we need to amplify this story of racial profiling to address the institutional racism and xenophobia in America. If silence sanctions, communication is resistance. There is no scientific basis for race. Race and racism are social constructs. Balancing Cultures represents a dark collective memory—long censored in part by the Japanese precept of gaman (enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity) and the fear that if their voices were too loud, it might happen again. Takigawa wishes to raise his voice today, because it is happening again.
BIO: Jerry Takigawa’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally including New Orleans Photo Alliance, New Orleans, LA; Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA; San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, CA; Candela Books + Gallery, Richmond, VA; The light Factory, Charlotte, NC; Los Angeles Center of Photography, Los Angeles, CA; Turchin Center for the Arts, Boone, NC; Providence Center for Photographic Arts, Providence, RI; Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, CA; Site Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY; Atlanta Photography Group, Atlanta, GA; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Corden Potts, San Francisco, CA; Serre dei Giardini Margherita, Bologna, IT; Casa dell’Architettura, Rome, IT; Atelier de gravure Zec, Paris, FR; Serra dei Giardini, Venice, IT; Cortona on the Move, Cortona, IT; and Vkhutemas Gallery, Rojdestvenka, Moscow.
Takigawa studied photography with Don Worth at San Francisco State University and received a degree in art with an emphasis in painting. He has been the recipient of a variety of photographic prizes and awards including the Imogen Cunnigham Award, Nomination for the Santa Fe Prize (2013) and Prix Pictet (2013, 2016). Critical Mass Top 50, The Clarence John Laughlin Award, LensCulture, Fine Art Photography Awards Finalist; New York Center for Photographic Art, Humans, First Place, CENTER Awards, Curator’s Choice—First Place. His work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, and the Monterey Museum of Art. Takigawa lives and works in Carmel Valley, California.