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Ms Toyoko Ito

Research associate

About

I joined the Centre as a research associate in August 2017 to contribute to research projects on post-war Japanese art. I have over 15 years experience as an art journalist and a critic, specialising in British, European and Japanese art and photography. I launched the website, fogless: London art diary in 2001 (-2010) and have been the London correspondent for the Japanese art magazine, Bijutsu Techo since 2005, covering over 400 exhibitions and writing on artists ranging from JMW Turner and Hokusai to the post-YBA and post-Murakami generations. Since 2010, I have regularly contributed articles for the British Council Japan's website.

In 2016, I co-curated an exhibition of the 2015 Turner Prize winner, Assemble, "Assemble: Community, Fantasy and Future" for Eye of Gyre, Tokyo. I am also an AHRC TECHNE funded PhD candidate.

Areas of specialism

  • Contemporary art
  • Alternative exhibition space
  • Gallery and curatorial practices
  • Post-war Japanese art
  • Subculture in Japan
  • Arts funding in Japan
  • Art and business in Japan

Qualifications

  • MA in Computer Applications for the History of Art, Birkbeck College, University of London
  • Postgraduate Diploma in History of Art, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London

Research

My research is an extension of my professional work as an art journalist and a critic and focuses on post-war Japanese art, in particular that of the 1980s. As part of the Centre's 'The Art of Intervention' project, I have explored Japan's 1980s/90s art movements, collectivism, and their social and political aspects, especially in relation to Dumb Type, which is the main focus of the project. I am also conducting analyses on galleries and curatorial practices as well as corporate-led philanthropic culture of the 1980s, through my research on Japan's so-called "first alternative space", Sagacho Exhibit Space. Apart from these main areas, my research also extends to the impact of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on Japan's art world and artists, especially in relation to socially-engaged works and activism. 

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