Machiko Townson

Headshot (Machiko Oya Townson)
Region: Ottawa ON
Generation: Issei Shin-Ijusha
Born 1974, Saga, Japan


Born and raised in the birthplace of Japanese porcelain, Arita, Saga, Machiko grew up where not only her grandmother was a dish painter, but most of her neighbours were dish painters themselves. Machiko remembers watching her grandmother painting dishes at home every night after school. Needless to say, she enjoyed her art classes in elementary and junior high school where the kilns were fully equipped. After finishing her BA in English Literature in Japan, she decided to follow her long time dream to study art history in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. There, she encountered the art works of Roy Kiyooka, which heavily influenced her decision to further study Japanese Canadian women artists at the University of Victoria. This led her to go back to Japan, where she studied representation and art works of female Canadian immigrants for one year in Osaka under the supervision of Dr. Hiroko Hagiwara who is known as a scholar and a translator of books by renowned art historian Griselda Pollock. After leaving Osaka, Machiko went back to Arita, Saga where she worked at the Kyushu Ceramic Museum. Her fate took her back to Canada and she is currently working as an independent art translator, photo stylist and co-organizing pop-up art shows featuring local female artists with other like-minded Japanese Canadian female entrepreneurs.

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Machiko Townson book