Shinya Watanabe is an independent Japanese curator, born in 1980,in Shizuoka, Japan.
After graduating New York University with a Master of Arts in Visual Art Administration, he worked as the gallery manager for Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, NY. His activity there, which included the management of all sales at the gallery, inspired him to enact his passion for curation. His prior research on the relationship between the nation-state and art has richly informed his exhibitions, allowing them to tackle weighty themes like history and nation.
From 2009-10, as the chief curator at the Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, Watanabe organized a series of projects focused on art as a dynamic force with the potential to improve Tokyoites’ relationships with each other and their environment. Currently, he is teaching a course on “Nation and Japanese Artists” as a faculty of Art History at Temple University (Japan Campus). In September 2011, he intends to travel to Berlin, Germany, for the Japanese government’s (Agency for Cultural Affairs) 2-year overseas study program.
Some of his main curatorial projects are: Volcano Lovers ? From Iceland and Japan” (ISE Cultural Foundation, NY, 2009), “Into the Atomic Sunshine ? Post-War Art under Japanese Peace Constitution Article 9”(Puffin Room, NY, Daikanyama Hillside Forum Tokyo, Okinawa Prefectural Museum of Art, Naha, 2008-2009),“Action Painting Street Battle! Ushio Shinohara vs. Ryoga Katsuma”(Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, NY, 2006),“Another Expo:Beyond the Nation-States”(Gallery Level1, Gallery Soap, 130 Bank Gallery, Kitakyushu, White Box, NY, 2005)
Artists presented in his exhibitions are: Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovic, Allora and Calzadilla, Yasumasa Morimura, Genpei Akasegawa, Yutaka Matsuzawa, Yukinori Yanagi, Yuken Teruya, and more.
While working energetically as an independent curator, he has also had number of lectures on contemporary art and art history (at New York University, Columbia University, Academy of Fine Arts Sarajevo, University of Tokyo, Tokyo National University of Arts, and more) and participated in editorial project of art books such as Yanagi Yukinori’s artist book “Inujima Note.
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