Art and Scholarly Dialogue Series: Living Otherwise: Perspectives on Time, Space, and Sense-Making from Okinawa

When and Where

Thursday, March 28, 2024 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
EAS Lounge, 14th Floor
Robarts Library
130 St. George St. Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A5


When and Where

Monday, March 25, 2024 | Photobook workshop (2:00-3:30 PM) & Opening Reception of Art Exhibition (3:30-4:30 PM)

In-person | Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, 8th floor, Robarts Library, 130 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 1A5


Thursday, March 28 | Artist talk (3:00-5:00 PM)

In-person | EAS Lounge, 14th floor, Robarts Library, 130 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 1A5



Kaori Nakasone (photographer) Satoko Nema (artist) Mayumo Inoue (Associate professor of comparative literature, Hitotsubashi University)


Art and Scholarly Dialogue Series: Living Otherwise: Perspectives on Time, Space, and Sense-Making from Okinawa

This event series is being held in-person at multiple dates and locations in the John P. Robarts Research Library. Faculty, students, staff, and the public are cordially invited to this event series. Registration is required:

This event series encompasses an art exhibition and book display, a photobook workshop, along with an artist talk. It highlights the photographic works of Kaori Nakasone and Satoko Nema, two artists from Okinawa, and the scholarship of Mayumo Inoue, a scholar specializing in comparative literature from Tokyo, Japan. Through photographic art and artist and scholarly exchange, this event series seeks to engage the University of Toronto community with the question of “living otherwise”: What does it mean to live in our times marked by senses of precarity, grief, and violent losses? What conditions could enable the possibilities for “living otherwise”—that is, to live in just and relational terms in the face of difference and absence?

In the workshop, the artists will discuss with the participants how their experiences of producing, publishing, and distributing photobooks and independent magazines in Okinawa constitute an alternative image politics that refuses prevalent imaginings of Okinawa as either a tourist paradise or a militarized site. The artist talk with Kaori Nakasone and Satoko Nema, featuring Professor Mayumo Inoue from Hitotsubashi University, Professor Wendy Matsumura from the University of California, San Diego, and Professor Elizabeth Wijaya from the University of Toronto as discussants, will investigate how artistic practices, both from and beyond Okinawa, can contribute to critical insights on broader issues such as transnational capitalism, logistical technologies, and geopolitics of mobility and immobility across the Pacific.



Kaori Nakasone is a photographer based in Tokyo and Okinawa, Japan. She held solo exhibitions "Temporality" (Kobunesha Studio, Naha, 2023) and “Unframed” (Kiyoko Sakata Gallery, Naha, 2016) and participated in group shows including “Transit Republic: The Pan-Pacific Collective Edition'' (arena 1 gallery, Los Angeles, 2017) and “the 27th Hitotsubo Photography Exhibition” (Guardian Garden, Tokyo, 2006). Having served as an editor of photography magazine LP from 2008 to 2010, Nakasone began publishing las barcas in 2011 as its chief editor. She co-wrote the essay "Between

Studium and Punctum: Tomatsu Shomei and Nakahira Takuma between ‘Japan’ and ‘Okinawa'" with Mayumo Inoue. It appeared in Voice of Photography (issue 28) in Taiwan and in the edited volume Epistemic Decolonization and the End of Pax Americana (Routledge, 2023). She published a photobook Temporality in 2023.

Satoko Nema is an artist born and based in Okinawa, Japan. She teaches as an adjunct instructor at the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts. She held solo exhibitions “Marginalia” (Naha Cultural Arts Theater NAHArt, Naha, 2023), “Simulacre” (Renemia, Naha, 2019), and “Paradigm” (Omotesanto Gallery, Tokyo; space aotsubame, Kobenesha, gallery atos, Okinawa, 2016). She also participated in group shows including “LAS ISLAS SOLITARIAS” (Sugarcane Room gallery, Miyagi Island, 2023; sponsored by the Okinawa Arts Council), “Artist Today” (Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum, Naha, 2019-2020), “Sharing as Caring #6 Trans-Affekte: Geschichten, Leben und Landschaften (Heidelberger Kunstverin, Germany, 2018-1019), “Transit Republic: The Pan-Pacific Collective Edition” (arena 1 gallery, Los Angeles,2017), “Untimely Encounter 2016: Moment” (Alternative Space LOOP, Korea, 2016-2017), among others. She published two photobooks, Paradigm in 2015 and Simulacre in 2019. In 2023, she co-founded the artist group Aotsubame, whose members established the art gallery Sugarcane Room in Miyagi Island, Okinawa.


Mayumo Inoue is an associate professor of comparative literature at Hitotsubashi University. His publications include the co-edited collection Beyond Imperial Aesthetics: Theories of Art and Politics in East Asia (with Steve Choe, Hong Kong University Press, 2019) as well as the articles on aesthetics and poetics in the works by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Charles Olson, and Kiyota Masanobu in the imperial context of the U.S. and East Asia including Okinawa in A Blackwell Companion to American Poetry, Discourse, and American Quarterly. His essays in Japanese have appeared in journals such as Gendai Shiso, Ecce, and las barcas. He is also a founding member of an Okinawa-based art journal las barcas.

Elizabeth Wijaya is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto (Mississauga) and Graduate Faculty in the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto (St. George). She is the Director of the Southeast Asian Seminar Series at the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. Her work has been published in Verge, Cultural Critique, Discourse, Parallax, Derrida Today, Pacific Affairs, and the edited volume, Ecology and Chinese-Language Cinema. She is the Associate Producer for Taste (dir. Lê Bảo, 2021), Co-Producer for Mongrel (dir. Chiang Wei Liang, in post-production), and Assistant Producer for Viet and Nam (dir. Truong Minh Quý, in post-production). She is a co-founder of E&W Films and co-editor of World Picture Journal.

Wendy Matsumura is Associate Professor of modern Japanese history and Okinawa studies at UC San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in History from New York University in 2007. She is the author of two monographs, both from Duke University Press. The first, published in 2015, The Limits of Okinawa: Japanese Capitalism, Living Labor, and Theorizations of Community, traced the way that Okinawa, an entity that only came into existence as a territorial and political category in the late 1870s transformed into a diasporic, cultural community included in, but distinct from the Japanese nation-state by the early 1930s. It argued that the production of a belief in Okinawa as an organic, trans-historical community was inextricably linked to capitalist crises that found their temporary resolution in appeals to the Okinawan community. Matsumura’s second monograph, published in 2024, Waiting for the Cool Moon: Anti-Imperialist Struggles in the Heart of Japan’s Empire, traced the transformation of the Japanese small farm household (shono noka) into the material and discursive foundation of the national community and its members into conquistador humanists following the post-World War One agrarian crisis. In addition to conventional academic venues, her work has been published in Viewpoint magazine, The Funambulist, Society & Space, and other more public-facing outlets.


Sabrina Teng-io Chung is a Ph.D. candidate in East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation examines the U.S. and Japanese colonial governance of Okinawa’s urban built environment through the lens of transpacific studies, inter-Asia cultural studies, and critical infrastructure studies. Her publication has appeared in Society and Space (online edition). She translated investigative reporting articles from independent Chinese-language news outlets including The Reporter and Initium Media. She also co-founded the "Thinking Infrastructures in Global Asia: New Perspectives and Approaches" Working Group, which is sponsored by the Jackman Humanities Institute. Her research has been supported by the School of Cities Graduate Fellows Program and the MOFA Taiwan Fellowship.

Ji Eun (Camille) Sung is an Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. Her primary research interest lies in artistic practices that actively employed non-conventional media, with a focus on their conversation with and operation within the socio-political conditions in Korea, and more broadly, in East Asia. Her research interests also include queer and feminist art practice, activism, and theory and the relationship between critical theory and praxis. She has worked as a curator and art critic, producing exhibitions, installations, and independent publications, particularly as a member of the Korean feminist visual art collective No New Work. Her work has been published in the Journal of History of Contemporary Art and will be included in the Routledge Companion to Art History and Feminisms.

Contact Information


130 St. George St. Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A5