Midori Yamamura


Dr. Midori Yamamura is an Assistant Professor of Art History at the City University of New York at Kingsborough Community College. She received her doctoral degree in Art History from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2013. Dr. Yamamura specializes in feminism, post-WWII art, and global contemporary art with a focus on Asia. Her secondary field is non-Western art. Between 2004-2020, she was a lecturer at MoMA. Yamamura currently serves as a field editor of the College Art Association’s online publication, CAAReview. In 2019, Dr. Yamamura formed a public humanities initiative with three KBCC professors, examining contemporary issues dealt with in arts by inviting the local community to her class and developing it into a learning community to make art history an interdisciplinary practice. She has published numerous articles on post-WWII art using an object-based social feminist approach. She is a specialist on Japanese-born artist Yayoi Kusama, served as an advisor for a film, Kusama: Infinity (2018), supervised an exhibition catalog, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2017), and speaks about Kusama’s work in MoMA’s audioguide. Her current project, Visual Representation and the Cold War: Art and Postcolonial Struggles in East and Southeast Asia (Routledge, 2021), explores artistic solutions to the neoliberal economic impact on people and the environment, especially politically unstable developing countries. She is currently working on a new book on Japanese contemporary art.


Art 23 (Asian Art through Religion, Philosophy, and Politics)

Art 24 (Global Contemporary Art Survey)

Art 31 Online

Art 33 Online

Art 34 Online

Art 37 (Non-Western Art Survey)


MA, Queens College, CUNY, 2001

M.Phil., The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2013

Ph.D., The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2013

College Teaching

Before arriving at CUNY Kingsborough, Yamamura was a full-time lecturer at Fordham University. She started teaching at KBCC in 2017. Yamamura also taught art history at The Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, and Hunter College. She also offers a seminar on art and regional development at Okayama University, Japan, by visiting Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, and inviting the local community.


Writings in English


Japanese Contemporary Art Since 1989: Emergence of the Local in the Age of Globalization (working title). London: Reaktion Books; Chicago: the University of Chicago Press (forthcoming).

Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015.

Book reviews:

Marc Goethals, “Midori Yamamura, Yayoi Kusama, Inventing the Singular,” De Witte Raaf, no. 178 (Nov.-Dec., 2015): 26.

Karen Kurczynski, “Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular, written by Midori Yamamura,” Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas 2, no. 3 (2016): 345-48.

SooJin Lee, “Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular,” CAAReview (December 2017).

Gloria Sutton, “Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular,” Women’s Art Journal (Spring 2018).

Books (Edited)

Li, Yuchieh and Midori Yamamura, eds. Visual Representations of the Cold War: Postcolonial Struggles in Asia. Oxford, UK: Routledge, June 2021.

Refereed Journal Articles

“Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s Late Painting as an Origin of Political Pop Art.” Archives of American Art Journal (forthcoming, 2023).

Archetypes: Cordillera’s Labyrinth: Ecocritical Analysis of Roberto Villanueva’s

Sustainability Aesthetics.” Antennae, Southeast Asia Issue (May 2021).

“Spatial Territories Disrupted: Connectivity, Transnationality, and Interpretability of Post-1989 Asian Art.” Tate Asia Centre Website (2018).


“The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale: Revitalizing the Dying Countryside with Contemporary Art.” College Art Association Review (December 2016).

 “The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi.” Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas 3, no. 3 (Fall 2017).

 “From Post-Medium to Peace Activism: Yoko Ono`s Painting to Hammer a Nail In.” Getty Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative [OSCI] with Walker Art Center.  (Accepted by the Getty Foundation/Walker Art Center; under review by Yoko Ono’s office.)

Book Chapters

Cho Sho Jo: Emergence of New Women’s Art in the Late Showa Period (tentative title).” In Steuber, Jason ed., Women’s Art in Asia. Gainesville, FL: The University of Florida Press, 2020. Gainesville, FL: The University of Florida Press, 2020.

“Asia’s Cold War and Environmental Devastation: Kidlat Tahimik and Roberto Villanueva’s Neo-Indigenous Response in the Philippines and Beyond. In Li, Yuchieh and Midori Yamamura eds. Visual Representation of the Cold War and Postcolonial Struggles in East and Southeast Asia. Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2020.

 “To Make the Art Object Disappear: Roberto Villanueva’s Response to the Anthropocene” (working title). In Mountains and Rivers (without) End: An Anthology of Eco-Art History in Asia. Ed. De-Nin Lee (New Castle upon Tyne, UK:

Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018).

Exhibition Catalogues

Single authored

“Being a Human: Takao Saito’s Color Field Painting.” Takao Saito (June 2021)

“Tadaaki Kuwayama: In Search of Infinity.” Tadaaki Kuwayama: Radical Neutrality. London: Mayor Gallery, 2017.

“Rakuko Naito: Creating the Only One That Exists on Earth.” Rakuko Naito. Tokyo: White Stone Gallery, 2016.

“Mephistophelean Underworld: Ryo Toyonaga’s Uncanny Objects.” Ryo Toyonaga: Mephistophelean. New York: The Vilcek Foundation, 2009.

“Imagine the World Differently: Yoko Ono’s Instruction Piece.” Yoko Ono Grapefruit. New York: ISE Cultural Foundation, 2004.


“Rising from Totalitarianism: Yayoi Kusama, 1945-1955, Formative Years.” In Yayoi Kusama. Ed. Frances Morris. Madrid: Reina Sofia; London: Tate Modern; New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 2011-2012, 168-75.

“Kusama and Nul: An International Crossroad of the Art of Active Social Engagement.” In The Dutch Avant-Garde Nul. Ed. Colin Huizing. Rotterdam: NAI Publisher, 2011.

“Re-Viewing Kusama, 1950-1975: Biography of Things.” In Yayoi Kusama, Mirrored Years. Eds. Franck Gautherot, Jaap Guldemond, and Seungduk Kim. Rotterdam: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 2009, 62-109.

“Transforming Infinity: Yayoi Kusama’s Net  Painting.” In Yayoi Kusama. Ed. Louise Neri. New York: Gagosian Gallery, 2009, 14-36.

“Kusama Yayoi’s Early New York Years: A Critical Biography.” In Making A Home: Contemporary Artists in New York. Eds. Eric Shiner and Reiko Tomii. New York: Japan Society and Yale University Press, 2007, 52-64.

Encyclopedia Entries

"Yoko Ono." Encyclopedia Entry. The 20th Century Art in Japan. Tokyo: Tokyo Bijutsu Club, p. 251.

“Yayoi Kusama.” Oxford Dictionary of American Art. Ed. Joan Marter. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Book Reviews

Book Review of Klaus Biesenbach, and Christophe Cherix, eds. Yoko Ono One Woman Show 1960-1971. Woman’s Art Journal 36, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2015): 43-45.

Book Review of Amy Teschner, ed. Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu.  Woman’s Art Journal 36, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2015): 47-49.

Review of Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama. Woman’s Art Journal 33, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2012): 44-47.

Exhibition Reviews

“Wondering Position, Yukinori Yanagi.” Art in America (Jan. 2017).

Writings in Japanese

Art Criticisms

Gekkan Bijutsu [Art Monthly], 2000-2009. Wrote a monthly column on the New York art scene.

Encyclopedia Entries

“Yoko Ono.” Twentieth-Century Japanese Art Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 2015.


“Shigeko Kubota.” Art Almanac of Japan. Tokyo: Tokyo Research Institute of Cultural Properties, 2018


2021      Transformative Learnings in Humanities. CUNY
               CUNY Career Success Fellowship

2020       ACLS Mellon Foundation Community College Faculty Fellowship.
                PSC-CUNY Award 0051
                CUNY ARTSBe
                Better Together: Japanese Studies Program at CUNY

2019        Faculty Fellowship for Publication Program
                 Humanities New York, Vision Grant

2018        PSC-CUNY Award 6701-0049
                   CUNY Book Completion Award
                   President’s Innovative Teaching Award

2016-2018 The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, Japan Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi)

2017        Tate Asia Centre Travel Fellowship

2016-2017 The Japan Foundation Long Term Fellowship (declined), Japan

2015        Terumo Foundation Arts and Crafts Grant for Contemporary Art, Japan

2014        Pratt Institute, Faculty Development Grant, New York City

2013-14 Getty Foundation Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative for Emerging Scholars and Curators

2012       National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Seminar for School Teachers at New York University, “Re-envisioning American Art History: Asian American Art, Research, and Teaching.”

2010       Frick Award to present a paper at the IFA [Institute of Fine Arts]-Frick Annual Symposium on the History of Art, New York City

2009-10 The National Academies, Ford Diversity Program Dissertation Award, Honorable Mention, Washington, D.C.

2008-09 The Center for Place, Culture, and Politics Fellowship, The Graduate Center, CUNY, Predoctoral Year Fellowship

2007-08 Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship, The Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY

2007       The Graduate Center, CUNY, Research, and Travel Grant

2007       The University of Akron, Resident Scholar Fellowship, Akron, Ohio

2006-07 Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

2004-06 Sue Rosenberg Zalk Student Travel and Research Fund/Alumni Association Dissertation Support Fund, The Graduate Center, CUNY

2006       Ford Foundation Travel Award, The Graduate Center, CUNY

2004       ISE Cultural Foundation, Emerging Curator Grant, New York City

2002       ISE Cultural Foundation, Emerging Curator Grant, New York City

Institutional Affiliations / Professional Societies

AICA – International Association of Art Critics (AICA, United States Section) 
College Art Association (CAA) 

Personal Interests