Kiyoko Mitsuyama-Wdowiak

Key information

Kiyoko Mitsuyama-Wdowiak KM86
Department of History of Art and Archaeology Senior Teaching Fellow
BA in History (Sophia University, Tokyo)
MA in History (Sophia University, Tokyo)
Certificate of Curatorship (Sophia University, Tokyo)
MPhil in History of Art and design (Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London)
Email address
Thesis title
Space, Material and Politics: A Narrative of Installation Work in Post-war Japan
Internal Supervisors
Dr Polly Savage & Professor Timon Screech
Support hours
By email appointment


Kiyoko is an art historian specialising in post-war Japanese art. Born and educated in Tokyo, she took a curatorial role (1983-1991) at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo: at the time a pioneering art museum promoting contemporary art in Japan. 

Since early 1990s she has been based in London, working as an independent art professional and completed an MPhil degree at Chelsea College of Art and Design (University of the Arts London). Her thesis about the Western reception of post-war Japanese art was further developed and published in Japan in 2009. This publication led to her participation since 2019 in one of the Art Platform research projects (now of the National Center for Art Research, Japan), creating the resource database of post-war art exhibitions held outside Japan. 

She has lectured at various cultural and art institutions/organisations including WEA, The British Museum, V&A, Sotheby’s, SOAS and Tokyo Zokei University in Japan. She has been a course convenor of the Japan & Korea module of the SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art since 2021. In 2018, based on her previous curatorial experience, she began her part-time PhD project that examines the sculptural developments in postwar Japan.

Key publications

‘The Hara Annual IX: Towards the 1990s’. In Hara Annual IX (Tokyo: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, 1989), 12-15. 

‘Exhibition Histories and Bibliographies’. In A Primal Spirit: Ten Contemporary Japanese Sculptors (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990), 120-141. 

‘Sengo Nihon bijutsu no kaigai shinshutsu to Sōfū no katsudō (戦後日本美術の海外進出と蒼風の活動, The Activities of Sofu and Promotion of Postwar Japanese Art Abroad)’. In Sengo Nihon wo kakenuketa ishoku no zenei: Teshigahara Sōfū (戦後日本を駆け抜けた異色の前衛:勅使河原蒼風, Sofu Teshigahara in the Postwar Avant-Garde Era) (Tokyo: Setagaya Art Museum, 2001), 279-284. 

 ‘Multiculturalism: Liberation or Imprisonment?’ [in Chinese]. Art & Collection Monthly [典蔵, Taiwanese art magazine], 112 (January 2002): 54-57. 

 ‘An Absolute Visual Pitch’. In Yoshito Takahashi Paintings 1979-2002 (Tokyo: Tokyo Gallery, 2003), 8-15. 

 ‘Sengo Nihon bijutsu no monogatari (戦後日本美術の物語, A Story of Post-war Japanese Art). Ningengaku-Kiyō (人間学紀要, Bulletin of the Institute of Cultural and Human Research, Kyoto Bunkyo University), Vol.8 (March 2008): 111-121. 

 Umi wo wataru Nihon gendai bijutsu: Ōbei niokeru tenrankaishi 1945-95 (海を渡る日本現代美術:欧米における展覧会史 1945-95, Contemporary Japanese Art Across the Sea: Japanese Art Exhibitions Held in the West 1945-1995). Tokyo: Keisō Shobō, 2009. 

 ‘Shinro Ohtake and Post-war Japanese Avant-garde Art’. World Art, Vol.5 (March 2015): 117-142. 

 ‘Modern Japanese Art: The Search for Identity’. In Asobi: Japanese and Korean Modern & Contemporary Art (London: Christie’s, 2015), 5-6.

Research interests

The development of three-dimensional work in twentieth-century Japanese art • The reception of modern and contemporary Japanese art outside Japan

Contact Kiyoko