Maari Sugawara (born in 1994 in Tokyo, Japan), a Japanese interdisciplinary artist, researcher, writer, educator, and Ph.D. student at the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong, splits her time between Tokyo and Hong Kong. She is the recipient of the Hong Kong Ph.D. Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS), established by the Research Grants Council (RGC).
Her works have been showcased internationally in a range of contexts including exhibitions, festivals, publications as well as academic conferences. Politicizing the personal, she uses media and image-making through challenging the Eurocentric and patriarchal standards set by the Japanese nation. Her works engage with the intersection of Japanese Studies, Speculative Fiction, Decolonial Studies, Gender Studies, and Digital Media. Issues of gender, racialized, and marginalized identity have been central to her art-based research.
Employing a wide range of mediums such as VR, animation, videos generated using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), projection mapping, photography, videography, stock materials, texts, and speculative fiction narratives, she creates a sensory involvement through the interplay of various components. She illustrates how the categories of Japanese and humans are categorically interpellated and performatively constituted through discourse and encourages a departure from traditional categories of difference.
2023 Doctor of Philosophy — School of Creative Media, CityUniversity; Hong Kong
2021 Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media, and Design — OCAD University; Toronto, Canada
2018 Continuing Studies in Conceptual Photography — OCAD University; Toronto, Canada
2017 Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, Diploma in Museum Management — Waseda University; Tokyo, Japan
2014 Art History (exchange) — Queen’s University: Kingston, Canada
2022 Algorithms of Innocence: Nuit Blanche, Toronto, Canada
2022 Algorithms of Innocence: Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Toronto, Canada
2021 Dreams Come True Very Much, The Garden, Toronto, Canada
Selected Group Exhibitions
2022 NEWVIEW FESTIVAL 2022; PARCO MUSEUM TOKYO, Tokyo, Japan
2021 Of ties and tethers, Vector Festival 2021: Network Dependencies, Toronto, Canada
2021 NEWVIEW FESTIVAL 2021; PARCO MUSEUM TOKYO, Tokyo, Japan
2021 GradEx 106; OCAD University, Toronto, Canada
2019 Flash Forward Incubator Program 2019; Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2019 Between the Lines; OCAD University, Toronto, Canada
2021 Contingencies of Care, Toronto Biennial of Art; Toronto, Canada
2021 ADA-DADA Residency, SAVAC, Toronto, Canada (auditor)
2020 Contingencies of Care, Toronto Biennial of Art; Toronto, Canada
Fellowship and Selected Awards
2022 Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS), Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC)
2022 Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies Entrance Scholarship, City University, Hong Kong
2021 IAMD Award: Promising New Artist, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada
2019 Dean’s Scholarship, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada
Teaching Experience & Research
2020 - 2021 Research Internship and Mentoring at NEWVIEW SCHOOL, Tokyo, Japan
2021 Lecture & Workshop:「アジア人への増悪犯罪と、日本における人種差別について：違いを力に変える(Anti-Asian Racism, and Racial Discrimination in Japan: Differences as Strength)」, Sendagaya Middle School, Tokyo, Japan
2019-2020 Teaching Assistantship as Tutorial Leader in Global Visual & Material Culture at OCAD University, Toronto, Canada
2018 Research Assistantship; Assisting Katy McCormick, the Director of the Graduate Program at Documentary Media at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Conferences, Presentations & Workshops
2022 Presentation, discussion: "【世界を学ぼう】カナダと文化的ジェノサイド ([Let's Study the World] Canada's Cultural Genocide," Peace Boat NGO, Tokyo, Japan.
2022 Artist talk: "What Can(‘t) Cyborgs do about Japanese Identities?", Japanese Cultural Centre in Canada, Toronto, Canada
2021 Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA) 2021 Conference: "What Cyborgs Can(’t) Do about Japanese Identities: Japaneseness as a product of the internalized Euro-American gaze," The University of Queensland, Australia
2020 2nd Asia Global Cultural Studies Forum: "What can Cyborgs do about Race? Japanese-ness, False Memories, and Honorary Whites," OCAD University, Toronto, Canada
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles & Commissioned Essays
2022 Human Futures Magazine Aug 2022, "'Colonized' Japanese Identities Live Forever: The Japanese State's Data Colonization," 2022.
2022 me and you little magazine & club, "故郷でどうにかなる／菅原万有 (Somehow, In My Hometown}"
2021 she is (CINRA. inc,), "世界各国のCOVID-19への向き合い方。混沌した世界を生き抜くために／菅原万有"
2021 The Puritan: The November 2021 Special issue; “SUCK MY HOUSE”, 2021.
2021 Femme Art Review: “In Conversation with Maari Sugawara” (with Nawang Tsomo).
2020 she is (CINRA. inc,), "過ちを認めるのは「負け」ではない。変化に寛容な都市、トロント／菅原万有"
2019 TORJA Toronto + Japan Magazine, ”カナダの先住民迫害の歴史と渦巻く少数派を排斥する非人道主義””
2020 TORJA Toronto + Japan Magazine, "新型コロナウイルスによるアジア人差別 現代に蘇る「黄禍論」｜特集「カナダの光と闇」"
2015 Curator, ARISA HATA Exhibition, Koganei Art Spot; Tokyo, Japan
2021 – present Senior Organizer, OCAD University, Asia Global Cultural Studies Forum; Toronto, Canada
2020-2022 SSENSE, Editorial Translator; Montreal, Canada
2019 Translator, The Ministry of Finance, Tokyo, Japan
2019 Main Photographer and Videographer, Luminato, Toronto's International Arts Festival; Toronto, Canada
2018 –2021 Managing Editor, Japan in Canada; Toronto, Canada
2018 –2021 Senior Reporter, TORJA Inc.; Toronto, Canada
2018 Curatorial Coordinator, Member of Artist Management Department, Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.; Tokyo, Japan
2015 Assistant Curator, Koganei Art Spot; Tokyo, Japan