Chaco Terada Statement

Artist Statement
Chaco Terada, originally from Japan, was trained at a young age in the art of calligraphy. When Chaco was in her twenties she had the opportunity to work on her calligraphy in ten countries as a part of the cultural exchange programs, Up with People and The Ship for World Youth. When her time with those groups ended she moved to the United States, where she discovered photography and started incorporating it with calligraphy. Chaco has led demonstrations and has taught calligraphy workshops at the Dallas Museum of Art, The Crow Asian Art Museum, Greenhill School, and Saint Mark’s School of Texas among others. Chaco’s artwork has been exhibited in Dallas, Santa Fe, New York and Los Angeles and Paris.

Process Statement
My work uses the Japanese and Chinese calligraphic characters that I have practiced since childhood. I take a line from one character, and when that brushstroke is made it tells me where the next one should be placed. This method of working is untraditional. I have found that the details and individual lines of a character are beautiful by themselves. I may use the individual brushstrokes that form a written word, Japanese letters, a Chinese character, or the definition of a word to portray the underlying meaning that I want to express.

My calligraphy is influenced by life experiences. When I create a brushstroke I think of the motion of water in a stream, or the movement of a breeze. My lines do not create a word in the traditional sense, they interpret the meaning or mood that I feel the word represents. Before I depict the character for the word autumn, I would meditate on an autumn scene, and let the details that come to my mind direct my hand.

I find harmony between traditional and contemporary calligraphy in my artwork.

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