David Kuraoka (born 1946) is an American ceramic artist. He was born in Lihue, Hawaii, grew up on the island of Kauai, Hawaii in Hanamaulu and Lihue, and graduated from Kauai High School in 1964. Kuraoka spent his formative years in Hanamaulu where he lived with his parents in his paternal grandmother's home in a plantation labor camp. His father, one of seven children and the only son, became a journalist, writing a weekly column published on Wednesdays, and the Kauai campaign manager for local politician Hiram Fong and Richard Nixon. His mother, Emiko Kuraoka, was a school teacher. He is married to Carol Kuraoka. Kuraoka moved to California in 1964 to study architecture at San Jose City College, eventually transferring to San José State University (San Jose, California) where he received his BA in 1970 and MA 1971. After completing graduate work that focused on ceramics, Kuraoka joined the faculty at San Francisco State University, eventually rising to head its ceramics department.
At the age of 35 he was named a Living Treasures of Hawai'i.
David Kuraoka said in an artist's statement, "My work is abstract, and my style is simple, clean and crisp." He 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, which are patinated to resemble his ceramics. Hanakapi'ai 3, in the collection of the Hawaii State Art Museum, is an example of his bronze sculptures. Kuraoka has also created wall murals.
- Echo, The Contemporary Museum At First Hawaiian Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2006
- Hanakapi'ai 3, Hawaii State Art Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2003
- Kumulipo (pit fired ceramic wall installation), Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1997
- College of San Mateo (San Mateo County, California)
- Honolulu Museum of Art (Honolulu, Hawaii)
- Hawaii State Art Museum (Honolulu, Hawaii)
- Kauai Museum (Lihue, Hawaii)
- White House Art Collection (Washington, D. C.)
- Rotterdam Modern Museum of Art
- Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
- Utah State University
- Honolulu Museum of Art First Hawaiian Center, Honolulu, Hawaii (2012, 2016)
- Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii (2002, 2006)
- Chang, Gordon H., Mark Dean Johnson, Paul J. Karlstrom & Sharon Spain, Asian American Art, a History, 1850-1970, Stanford University Press, ISBN 9780804757515, pp 364–365
- Hartwell, Patricia L. (editor), Retrospective 1967-1987, Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1987, p. 97
- International Art Society of Hawai'i, Kuilima Kākou, Hawai’i-Japan Joint Exhibition, Honolulu, International Art Society of Hawai'i, 2004, p. 26
- 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.
- Wong, Allison, 10 Years - The Contemporary Museum at First Hawaiian Center - Tenth Anniversary Exhibition, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2006, ISBN 9781888254075, p. 68
- 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.
- Saville, Jennifer, Island Shadows: Recent Work in Clay and Bronze by David Kuraoka, Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, 2006, p. 8
- Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox David Kuraoka, PBS Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, 2018
- Saville, Jennifer (March 2006). "Island Shadows: Recent Work in Clay and Bronze by David Kuraoka". Calendar news. Vol. 78, no. 2. Honolulu Academy of Arts. p. 8. hdl:10524/58096.
- "David Kuraoka". LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX. Sep 25, 2018. PBS Hawaii. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
- "Openings". Calendar news. Vol. 78, no. 4. Honolulu Academy of Arts. Jul 2006. p. 10 – via eVols.
- "David Kuraoka - Artist Biography for David Kuraoka". www.askart.com. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
- Oppegaard, Brett, "Exhibit showcases art as a way of life: Ceramist David Kuraoka finds self-discovery through clay", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Jan. 31, 2016, p. F7
- Wu, Nina, "California Slick, Natural Qualities of Ceramicist's Work are Revealed in His Clean, Crisp Lines", Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Aug. 11, 2017, tgif pages14-15
- Praag, Judith van, Living Treasure: David Kuraoka, International Examiner, November 17, 2004
- Hawaii Convention Center, wall plaque
- Chang, Gordon H., Mark Dean Johnson, Paul J. Karlstrom & Sharon Spain, Asian American Art, a History, 1850-1970, Stanford University Press, p. 364
- "Progressions: Recent Ceramics by Jennifer Owen and David Kuraoka, October 4, 2012–January 11, 2013". Members' magazine. Honolulu Academy of Arts. Sep 2012. p. 7 – via eVols.
- "Industrial Scale/Artistic Precision: David Kuraoka". Members' magazine. Honolulu Academy of Arts. Jun 2016. p. 2 – via eVols.
- "Beyond Craft: Modern Ceramics of Hawaii". Calendar News. Vol. 74, no. 5. Honolulu Academy of Arts. Sep 2002. p. 9 – via eVols.
- "Island Shadows: Recent Work in Clay and Bronze by David Kuraoka". Calendar news. Vol. 78, no. 3. Honolulu Academy of Arts. May 2006. p. 2 – via eVols.