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Maari Sugawara
photography, video, cyborg, decolonisation, feminism, Orientalism, Asia, Asian, East Asian, creative writing, image and texts, experimental film, walking

IAMD, OCAD University


Maari Sugawara is an interdisciplinary artist, translator, photographer and editor of a magazine “Japan In Canada” based in Toronto. She is currently a student at The Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design (IAMD) at OCAD University in Toronto. She holds a BA from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied Art History, Museum Studies, and Creative Writing. After graduating from her BAH, she worked in the artist management department for the artist Takashi Murakami, then moved to Toronto seeking a more diverse and inclusive art scene.

Her projects aim to politicise the Orientalisation of ‘Asian’ individuals within the dialectical tension between global Asia and the West. In her current project, she uses formulation of Donna Haraway’s cyborg as a tool to move beyond the essentialist debates surrounding Asian subjectivity in the West, delink from problematic Western traditions such as patriarchy, colonialism and essentialism which allow for the problematic formations of taxonomies and identifications of the Other, what Haraway explains as “antagonistic dualism” that order Western discourse.



“As a therapeutic activity to employ mindfulness, I walk in new places, not necessarily to any particular destination, with a camera. I am drawn to the unpredictability of urban environments and its narrative material, specifically diasporic spaces and how the Western gaze has shaped them, which have been a motif in my past projects. Since I started practising street photography, I have been intrigued by the continuities between places I visit; Tokyo, Toronto, London, etc. and capturing the lyricism inherent within these spaces.”