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Michiko Oki portrait

Dr. Michiko Oki (b. Japan)

Michiko Oki, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Art, is a London-based surrealist, art historian and writer in the field of Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies. Her research explores the representation of violence and power in the form of allegory and fiction in modern/contemporary art, culture and literature. Her interdisciplinary writings, drawn from art history/theory, critical theory, philosophy, intuition and emotion, approach the question: What is the nature of aesthetic experience in perceiving the darker side of reality and its constructive effect on the human psyche and society? How can we conceive the world differently through 'endarkening' imagination and artistic/philosophical thinking?

Her recent research explores non-Westernised narratives in the acceptance of avant-garde spirits in non-European countries, exemplifying it in the case of Japan, particularly investigating a peculiar historical event ee ja nai ka - carnivalesque popular riots that swept the country in 1867-1868 - and its relation to the 1920s and 30s' countercultural movement ero guro nansensu (erotic, grotesque, nonsense).

She is currently a Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London and a Distinguished Assistant Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts.



ロンドン在住、美学・美術史研究者、執筆家。文学博士。モダニズム・前衛芸術/文学(特にシュルレアリスム研究)を中心に、寓話やフィクションの形式で表象される暴力と権力の様々な様相について研究・執筆を行う。また、19世紀半ばに発生した「ええじゃないか」運動に焦点を当てつつ、西洋的視点に依らない日本におけるモダニズム/アヴァンギャルドの再定義を試みる研究を行っている。2005年京都大学人間・環境学研究科修了(創造行為論)。2007年、渡英。2009-2011年、文化庁新進芸術家海外研修制度研修員(英国)。2014年、ユニバーシティ・カレッジ・ロンドン西欧言語文化社会研究科にて博士号取得(比較文学・芸術論)。現在、ロンドン芸術大学セントラル・セント・マーチンズ校パフォーマンス:デザイン&プラクティスコース上級講師、東京藝術大学大学院美術研究科 グローバルアートプラクティス専攻卓越助教。表象文化論学会、美学会所属。主な近著論文(英語)に以下がある。




Email: mchooki (at)

Address: London, UK


Japanese (native)

English (professional)

Spanish (basic)

Research Interests

Keywords: modern and contemporary art history/theory, aesthetics, Surrealism, Modernism/Avant-Garde studies, René Magritte, Franz Kafka, the violence of the norm, thresholds, noise music, posthumanism, allegory, body (nudity, hunchback, distortion), critical theory (T. L. Adorno, G. Agamben, W. Benjamin, J. Butler,  M. Foucault)


Ph.D (Comparative Literature and Art), School of European Languages, Culture & Society, University College London, UK, July 2014

MA (Art History), Human and Environmental Studies in Thought and Culture, Kyoto University, Japan, March 2005


Japanese Government Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists (Field of Grant: Art Theory), 2009-2011

Teaching & Research Position

Senior Lecturer, BA Performance: Design and Practice, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London 2022- (Associate Lecturer, 2020-2022)

Distinguished Assistant Professor, MA Global Art Practice, Tokyo University of the Arts, 2019-

Research Associate, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, 2016-2018

Course Tutor (‘19th and 20th Century Art in London’), BA History of Art, University College London, 2009-2011

Research Assistant, Art Studies and Cultural Production, Kyoto University of Art and Design, 2005-2007

Affiliated Academic Societies

The Association for Studies of Culture and Representation, Japan

The Japanese Society for Aesthetics

The European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies

International Society for the Study of Surrealism

Text © 2015 Michiko Oki
Illustration © 2015 Pablo Padilla Jargstorf

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