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Sculpture (MA)

Maya Erin Masuda

Maya Erin Masuda (b. Tokyo, JP, she/her), is a Tokyo-London-Berlin-based, queer interdisciplinary artist. Maya brings her unique speculative post-human realism to life through storytelling via film, performance, writing and time-based installation.

Throughout her work, Maya Erin Masuda elaborately re-examines current environmental concerns such as the emergence of geotrauma or nuclear energy, from the borderlands where technology and animal, human and material converge. As an artist who has a background in machine engineering, Maya proposes affective, sensual, spatiotemporal narrative which reimagines ‘otherness’ as a perfect totality set within the abjected state, which interweaves non-human, marginalised and symbolic. Developing a kinship with the imperfect and political nature of technology, her work reveals and interrogates constructed images of idealised futurity while suggesting an alternative methodology that negates anthropocentrism.

Graduated from Tama Art University in Tokyo, she she studied and researched new media archaeology at Royal College of Art, where she obtained her MA. Her practice encompasses a wide range of fields such as curation, publishing and activism. She is the co-founder of the feminist-queer journal i+med(i/e)a, and was recently shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries(2022, UK), Sustainability First Art Prize (2021, UK) so on. Her recent exhibitions include 손과 속삭임 Hands and Whispers (2023, YPC Seoul), Interassemblages - Nodal Relay(2022, ACUD Gallery Berlin), ESC - YYYYMMDD + VVOVVA (2022, online/Amsterdam), Trans×Formation (2022, AnBTokyo), Aichi Triennale U27 program Exhibition (2019, Art Lab Aichi) etc.

Nyoronyoro-barabara-pichaicha machines

Nyoro-bara-pichapicha machines

Nyoro-bara-pichapicha machines is a site-specific work, which explores the idea of “machines with care” formed between the environment, local community and human hands. After the advent of capitalism, the “machines” which were once unstable, improvised, and often transitory turned into stable, perfected, isolated entities. Their circuits and hard exterior became more closed so that the users wouldn't touch, and uniform plastic covers were adopted suitable for mass production. Stability, eternity, closedness- considering those patriarchic autistic features expected in machines overlaps with the desire of human beings that created them, the artist aims to open a small crack to both by finding the alternative in the representation of machines.

During the process of making Nyoro-bara-pichapicha machines, the artist collected various materials (branches, soil, city waste such as a broken piece of wall) while walking around the city. By adopting city ruins and local organic material inside the machines, she attempts to embrace the practice of “repair" into the world-making. In addition, as the work has organic substances inside the circuit, the work adopts the process of oxidation and corrosion. Unlike the machines we have in our society where functionality, endurance and stability are the priority, the machines here are fluid, unstable and constantly responding to the outside climate. Parts of the circuit will be submerged in water, causing organic substances to dissolve over time. In this process, the moisture will also soak into the wall, obscuring the contour of the machine itself.

Through exploring the creation of a temporal machine that corresponds with the environment, the work proposes a speculative future in which technology does not exist to divide but to coexist with their environments, humans and more-than-humans counterparts. Technological creations and machines can too uphold the concepts of locality, sustainability and care.

2020- ongoing, tapioca starch, water, steel, electric components, gelatine, etc.
2020- ongoing, wool, water, steel, electric components, gelatine, etc.
2020- ongoing, wool, wall, water, steel, electric components, gelatine, etc.
2020- ongoing, water, gelatine, etc.
2020- ongoing, wool, salt, water, steel, electric components, gelatine, etc.


Electronic components, tapioka Powder, agar, water, steel, glycerol, wood branches, gelatine, etc.


variable / site-specific
"Interassemblages - Nodal Relay", ACUD Galerie, Berlin, 2022.
"Interassemblages - Nodal Relay", ACUD Galerie, Berlin, 2022.
exhibition view of "Interassemblages - Nodal Relay", ACUD Galerie, Berlin, 2022.
The archive video of the work, The Landfall , exhibited in 2023 at Kuma Gallery, Roppongi, Tokyo.

The Landfall

Having previously explored the representation of machines that are open to vulnerability from a perspective of care, throughout her recent work Maya has conducted extensive research on the skin and morphological abnormalities found on animals left behind in Chornobyl and Fukushima. By transforming the skin and structure of the machines she explores based on this research, she attempts to reverse-engineer the accumulated record of geo-trauma brought about by humans within the speculative futurity she presents. It is a practice that attempts to dislocate a facet of technology that has been accelerated through war and invasion, as well as an attempt to de-anthropocentrise its representation.

Fragmented narratives from indeterminate subjects and the fragments of images that bear resemblance to landscapes, animals and human skin, pose questions concerning post-humanism, post-intimacy, be-longing, pain and queerness in the foreseeable future.

exhibited in 2023 at "Matters of Lives", 2023, Kuma Gallery, Tokyo.
exhibited in 2023 at Kuma Gallery, Roppongi, Tokyo.
exhibited at "Hung, Drawn and Quartered" , 2023, Standpoint Gallery
exhibited at "Hung, Drawn and Quartered" , 2023, Standpoint Gallery