Ai Fukunaga studied a PhD in History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS. She is now working as a Curatorial Research Associate for Japanese Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Why did you choose SOAS, and why PhD in History of Art and Archaeology
I wanted to conduct my research with a supervisory committee specialized in the history of collecting and Japanese art. SOAS had an ideal environment having renowned scholars in different disciplines and area studies, which encouraged me to apply interdisciplinary approaches to my research.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
I was able to meet students and scholars from all over the world researching different aspects of arts and cultures. The exposure to various ideas inspired me a lot.
Can you tell us about the work you do now and how you got there?
I care for Japanese art collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Over a decade, I developed my curatorial experience in Japan, Europe, and Britain at various institutions.
How has your experience at SOAS helped you in your career?
I grew as an academic writer thanks to the feedback from my supervisors. I became confident as a scholar and communicator by presenting my research. I developed my project management skills by organizing my research project and a symposium with fellow PhD colleagues.
What advice would you give to students thinking about studying PhD in History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS?
Finishing a PhD is hard. However, you will find great colleagues who go through the tough and rewarding journey with you.