David Kuraoka (born 1946) is an American ceramic artist. He was born in Lihue, Hawaii and received a BA from San José State University (San Jose, California) in 1970 and an MA from the same institution in 1971. Kuraoka is a professor of art and head of the ceramics department of San Francisco State University and maintains studios in both San Francisco and Kauai, Hawaii. At the age of 35 he was named a Living Treasures of Hawai'i.
David Kuraoka is best known for large ceramic pieces that are first thrown on a wheel, then further shaped by hand, burnished, covered with rock salt and copper carbonate, and fired in an open pit. He also makes more traditionally shaped ceramics with grayish-green celadon glaze and has begun having some of his organically shaped ceramic pieces cast in bronze.
Hanakapi'ai 3, in the collection of the Hawaii State Art Museum, is an example of his bronze sculptures. It closely resembles some of his ceramic pieces. The College of San Mateo (San Mateo County, California), Honolulu Museum of Art, the Hawaii State Art Museum, the Rotterdam Modern Museum of Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, Utah State University, and the White House Art Collection (Washington, D. C.) are among the public collections holding work by David Kuraoka. His pit fired ceramic, Kumulipo from 1997, is installed on a wall of the Hawaii Convention Center.
- Morse, Marcia and Allison Wong, 10 Years: The Contemporary Museum at First Hawaiian Center, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, 2006, ISBN 1888254076, p. 68
- Praag, Judith van, Living Treasure: David Kuraoka, International Examiner, November 17, 2004.
- Yoshihara, Lisa A., Collective Visions, 1967-1997, An Exhibition Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Art in Public Places Program, Presented at the Honolulu Museum of Art, September 3-October 12, 1997, Honolulu, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, 1997, p. 88.