Yoshiko Shimada was born in 1959 in Tokyo, lives and works in Chiba. Shimada graduated from Scripps College in 1982 and received Ph.D. from Kingston University, London in 2015. She explores the themes of cultural memory and the role of women in the Asia-Pacific War, as both aggressors and victims. As methods of expression, she uses printmaking, installation, video, performance, research and archiving. 


When Emperor Showa passed away in 1988, Shimada began to create artworks about violence, war, women and Japanese history and nationalism. With her research of the roles of women in a male-centric environment, she attempts to look critically at conventional feminism. Her works address the power structures within organisations such as the Japan Women's Association, the roles and responsibilities of Japanese women, and what sorts of positions they held along with Korean "comfort women" during and after the Second World War.

Shimada also conducted fieldwork in Asia - the Philippines, Korea, Indonesia and Thailand - to gather information not only about women during the war period, but also about falsehoods and truths in the home and community.

Recent years, she also works as an art historian and archivist. Her research interests include art and politics in the post-war Japan, alternative art education, and feminism.


Her works have been shown widely in exhibitions such as "Fanatic Heart", Para Site, Hong Kong (2022-2023), "Japan Unlimited", MuseumsQuartier Wien (2019), "After 'Freedom of Expression?'", Aichi Triennale (2019) and "Beyond Hiroshima" Tel Aviv University Art Gallery (2015). In 2017, she curated "From Nirvana to Catastrophe: Matsuzawa Yutaka and His 'Commune in Imaginary Space'" at Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo. She currently lectures on feminism and art at the University of Tokyo.

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