GA TALK 031″My Evolving Role as a Curator” by Mika Yoshitake (Independent Curator)

Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha. Catalogue Image: Honda Shingo, No. 16, 1969, installation at Tamura Gallery, Tokyo, July 7–13, 1969.

GLOBAL ART TALK 031 “My Evolving Role as a Curator” by Mika Yoshitake (Independent Curator)

This talk will uncover key exhibitions that I have organized since I was a doctoral student in art history at UCLA and work at various museums in the U.S. up until the present. One of the main objectives will be to reflect on the differences between organizing exhibitions at museum versus galleries, as well as exhibitions that conceptualized myself versus those proposed by museums.
My evolving role as a curator can be understood by the following: 1). Project coordinator / curatorial liaison for internationally touring exhibitions (2005–2010); 2). Museum curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (2011–2018); 3). Guest curator, Blum & Poe (2012, 2019); 4). Independent Curator (2018¬–present).
Some topics I will address include my work in the cultural translation and reception of modern and contemporary Japanese art history in the U.S., organizing international tours, catalogue publications, and public programs as well as my upcoming project that addresses climate and social justice. (Mika Yoshitake)

About the Talk

Time/Date:2021.12.11 SAT 10:30〜12:00
Admission:Free (Booking required)

*We will hold the Global Art Talk online this time to take preventive measures against the proliferation of COVID-19. Please kindly understand that we still have possibility to cancel this event depending on the circumstances.
*English>Japanese consecutive translation available.

Organized by:Kyoto University of the Arts, Graduate School of Art and Design Studies/HAPS

About the Speaker

Mika Yoshitake is an independent curator with expertise in postwar Japanese art. She earned her MA and PhD in Art History from UCLA, which culminated in the AICA-USA award-winning exhibition Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha (2012). As former Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (2011–18), she organized the six-venue North American tour of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors (2017–19). Recent exhibitions include Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s (2019) at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, Yoshitomo Nara (2021) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature (2021) at the New York Botanical Garden. She has forthcoming exhibitions at M+ Hong Kong and Breath(e): Toward Climate and Social Justice at the Hammer Museum as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA x Art x Science in 2024.


For Booking:
Global Art Talk 031 Booking Form
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Connecting Kyoto and the World through Contemporary Art

The environment surrounding contemporary art has become vastly more complex over the past few decades. Faced with this situation, it is no easy task for artists to find a way to be active at a global level. Naturally, it is virtually impossible to get a firm grasp on the art scenes that are being produced concurrently all over the world. In particular, in neighboring Asian countries that are seeing rapid economic growth and modernization, there are more opportunities than ever before to show one’s work, taking into account the new art museums and art fairs that are being established, and the flourishing numbers of international exhibitions. Although global attention focused on this region has increased, the situation is quite different in Japan, where there is a general sense that the work of developing art-related institutions has been finished. However, it is precisely this state of affairs that has led to a renewed questioning of how global networks are constructed, a reconsideration of how institutionalization works, and the role of artists in society.
In Kyoto, art schools produce a large number of new artists each year. But what kinds of connections might one discover today between this center of traditional Japanese culture and the world of contemporary art that has grown ever more complex in this way? “Global Art Talk,” presented by HAPS and Kyoto University of the Arts, is a program where internationally active artists, curators, collectors, researchers, and gallerists, among others, are invited, and, through a series of dialogues, strives to provide a global perspective as well as deepen understanding.

The “GLOBAL ART TALK” is part of the Curatorial Research Program of the HAPS, which seeks to provide support to young emerging artists.

The Kyoto University of the Arts is dedicated to establishing an institution that will foster artists from Kyoto who aim to work in the contemporary art world at a global level.


Album Covers, Black Editions Archive. Installation view, Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s. Curated by Mika Yoshitake. Los Angeles: Blum & Poe, 2019.
Photo: Heather Rasmussen

Catalogue Cover, Topologies. Curated by Mika Yoshitake. The Rachofsky Warehouse, 2018. Cover Image: Seung-taek Lee, Photo: Kevin Todora