Jerry Takigawa

Jerry Takigawa is an independent photographer, designer, and writer. He is the founder and creative force behind the Center for Photographic Art’s PIE Labs. He received the Imogen Cunningham Award in 1982, the Clarence J. Laughlin Award in 2017, and CENTER’s Curator’s Choice Award in 2018. 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. He studied photography with Don Worth at San Francisco State University and received a degree in art with an emphasis in painting.  Takigawa lives and works in Carmel Valley, California.

Artist’s Statement

Balancing Cultures is the current project by independent photographer, designer, and writer Jerry Takigawa. Through the examination and expression of his family’s story and of the history of the Japanese American diaspora, Takigawa found meaning, catharsis, and resonance. This work shares personal interpretations of the emotions, insights, and the deep collective acceptance of injustice never expressed by his immigrant grandparents and American-born parents. Balancing Cultures gives voice to a long-silenced family story.

History is not a science but an art. As an art based in the written record, it relies on the power of words to render the truth. But while words have the power to transform events and people, the visual arts have equal—perhaps greater—power to shape our thinking. Author David Brooks said, “If true racial reconciliation is achieved in this country, it will be through the kind of deep spiritual and emotional understanding that art can foster. You change the world by changing peoples’ hearts and imaginations.” There is no scientific or genetic basis for race—race and racism are social constructs. It’s time we consider how race is an unholy expedience we sanction that leads to labels, judgment, and separation.