Skip to main content Skip to footer content



Midori Yamamura

Assc Professor



Dr. Midori Yamamura is an Associate 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 2012. Dr. Yamamura specializes in feminism, post-WWII art, and global contemporary art focusing on Asia. Her secondary field is non-Western art. Between 2004-present, she has been lecturing at MoMA. Yamamura currently serves as a field editor of the College Art Association’s online publication, CAAReview. She is a co-founder of two faculty-led research initiatives, UnHomeless NYC and IGNITERs. She has published numerous articles on post-WWII art using an object-based social feminist approach and ecocriticism. A specialist on Japanese-born artist Yayoi Kusama, her first book, Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular, was published by MIT Press. She served as an advisor for a film, Kusama: Infinity (2018). In 2021, she co-edited an anthology, Visual Representation and the Cold War: Art and Postcolonial Struggles in East and Southeast Asia (Routledge). The book explores artistic responses to colonialism and the neoliberal economic impact on people and the environment in East and Southeast Asian countries. She is currently working on a new book on contemporary Japanese art.


Art 23 (Asian Art)

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, 2012

Ph.D., The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2012

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.


Writings in English


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

Inventing the Singular 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

Archetypes: Cordillera’s Labyrinth: Ecocritical Analysis of Roberto Villanueva’s Sustainability Aesthetics.” Antennae 55, Southeast Asia Issue (August 2021): 122-139.

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

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

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

Book Chapters

Exploring a Moment of 超少女(Chōshōjo): Economic Bubble, Saison Culture, and New Women’s Art, 1986-1996.” In Peyton, Alyssa ed., Women in the Art and Archaeology of Asia. Gainesville, FL: The University of Florida Press, 2023.

“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

"The 1960s Counterculture Movement and Aldo Tambellini’s Immersive Electromedia Environment.” In Aldo Tambellini. Ed. Olga Shims. Ulsan, South Korea: Ulsan Museum, 2022.

“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.

Newspaper Articles

“Aldo Tambellini Reflects Upon Us.” Brooklyn Rail.

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



Promoting Sense of Belonging Award
Humanities Writing Fellowship
Inaugural Fellow, CUNY/SUNY Southeast Asian Consortium
Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Work Award, Kingsborough Community College 
Asian American Studies Across CUNY: a Faculty Development Seminar
Civic Engagement Fellow
PSC-CUNY Award # 66570-00 54 


Japan Foundation Grassroots Grant, declined
Promoting Sense of Belonging Award
KBCC Writing Group
PSC-CUNY Award 0053
Alcaly/Bodian Distinguished CUNY Scholar, Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC), The CUNY Graduate Center
CUNY Career Success Initiative Fellowship


Social Practice CUNY
Transformative Learnings in Humanities. CUNY
CUNY Career Success Fellowship
UC Davis/Mellon Foundation, Imagining America: Stories of Change Fellowship Social Practice CUNY


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


Faculty Fellowship for Publication Program
Humanities New York, Vision Grant


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


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


Tate Asia Centre Travel Fellowship


The Japan Foundation Long Term Fellowship (declined), Japan


Terumo Foundation Arts and Crafts Grant for Contemporary Art, Japan


Pratt Institute, Faculty Development Grant, New York City


Getty Foundation Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative for Emerging Scholars and Curators


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.”


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


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


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


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


The Graduate Center, CUNY, Research, and Travel Grant


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


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


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


Ford Foundation Travel Award, The Graduate Center, CUNY


ISE Cultural Foundation, Emerging Curator Grant, New York City


ISE Cultural Foundation, Emerging Curator Grant, New York City

Curated, Co-curated Exhibitions


 UnHomeless NYC, Hudson Guild, NY


UnHomeless NYC, Kingsborough Art Museum, NY

2013 War is for the Living, Po Kim Gallery, NY
2004 Grapefruit: Yoko Ono 1964,  ISE Foundation, NY
2002 Spirit of Tea, ISE Foundation, NY
1995 Healing Our Planet Earth (H.O.P.E.) after Hiroshima, Central Park, Hiroshima, Japan


Institutional Affiliations / Professional Societies

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

Personal Interests