I was honoured to be included in this magazine article by Dr. Katherine Yamashita, featuring artwork by 5 Japanese-Canadian artists. Subaru Six-Star Magazine. “Profound, Relevant & Resonant to the Core.” Published Fall/Winter 2017.
"Miya Turnbull: The Face Behind the Mask". Discover Nikkei. February 25th, 2021 (Part 1) February 26th, 2021 (Part 2).
-Visual Arts Abstract. Global News Morning Halifax. Nov 5th, 2020.
-“Japanese Canadian Art in the time of Covid-19- Part 2”. Discover Nikkei. September 10th, 2020.
-"Laurie Frankel Launches Charity to Support Families, Honor Frontline Workers, and Promote Mask Use." American Photographic Artists. (Image) July 10th, 2020.
-"Art Show Brightening the Winter in Truro". Truro News. (Image). January 9th, 2020.
-“Blending Cultural Identities in New Art Exhibition”. Nikkei Voice. (Article and images Printed and Online.) Vol 33, No 2. March 2019. Page 8 and 15.
-"Japanese Canadians in the Arts." Bryce Kanbara. Essay accompanying Being Japanese Canadian: reflections on a broken world ROM Exhibition, February 2 to August 5, 2019.
-“Mother and Daughter Artists: Marjene Matsunaga Turnbull/Miya Turnbull”. Community Voice. (Article and Image Printed). January 29th, 2019. Page 12.
-5 Top Japanese Canadian Artists. “Profound, Relevant & Resonant to the Core.” Six-Star Magazine (Subaru Life). (Article and Image Printed). Fall/Winter 2017. Page 16-19. (See above)
-Featured Artist Profile. Visual Arts Nova Scotia. December 2015.
-"12 Weeks Along/Umbilical". Understorey Magazine (Collage Image). Autumn 2013: Issue One.
-"(Un)covering Gender Roles". Queen's University The Journal. (Article and Image) January 25th, 2008.
-"Masks Show Off Family Talent." The Stony Plain Reporter: Arts and Culture. (Article and Image). January 25, 2008. Page 66.
-“Like Mother, Like Daughter.” Moshi Moshi (Edmonton Japanese Community Association). (Article and Image). Vol. 33, No. 3. January/February 2008. Page 16.
-"Putting a New Face on Ross Creek Centre." The Chronicle Herald: Spotlight. (Image). April 19th, 2007. Page F8
-"Miya Turnbull: Looking beyond the Mask". The Dartmouth Laker: Laker Arts. (Article and Images). Vol. 10, No. 2. February, 2007. Pages 8 and 9.
-ATV, "Live at 5", Promotion of my exhibit "Inside and Out" at the Craig Gallery, January 19th, 2007.
-Eastlink Television, "The Straight Goods" Hosted by Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia (60 min). Episode 23. March 22nd, 2006. (See video below)
-Eastlink Television. "The Fax" Interview about my masks in "Media Masquerade" exhibit at Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax. Aired October 27th, 2005. (See video below)
Essay by Mindy Hurlburt-Wong, 2008
-written for Miya's catalog for "Inside and Out" exhibit at ARTsPLACE gallery in Annapolis Royal, NS.
Miya Turnbull’s body of work, Inside and Out, is self-portraiture in papier-mâché mask form. Using photo montage she presents to us all of her faces: beautiful and grotesque, expressions of the sublime and the banal; rows of masks staring back at you, confronting your gaze, refusing your gaze, mimicking your judgments. Each one of these masks represents an aspect of a whole, gendered, social identity. The same face is repeated, its features altered or removed. Maybe only the eyes move, as in her series Somewhere In Between, in which they slant startlingly high then turn down slowly until the outward edges droop onto the cheeks. Turnbull creates a beautiful homage to her Eurasian heritage in many of these pieces. In Self Portrait (Half Japanese), pages from the Nikkei Voice (a national forum for Japanese Canadians) are violently breaking through her outer skin, which speaks forcefully of her struggle to unite her mixed cultural identity. Through the exaggeration of her struggles and pleasures she experiments with finding the limits of what she can still call herself.
If the nature of a mask is to conceal, then Miya Turnbull has failed to use the medium correctly. What she has managed to do with the form is reveal her inner self and the nature of self image. When we comment on self and identity, we only have ourselves to reference, and the truth of Miya’s work is that there are many selves within one identity, each formed through our interactions with others. She is intensely interested in examining her responses to how her individuality is read by others, and has managed to self-analyze and create a distance between how others read her and who she is. She asks the question, what is true about outside assumptions of my culture, my gender, my interior world? And she creates even more distance by turning those truths into objects: masks that she can choose to put on or take off at will. This critical distance allows her to fetishize these pieces of herself that could be uncomfortable; embrace the stereotypes and her cultural confusion; and play with, dramatize and enjoy her differences.
There is no negativity in these works, but rather celebration, and a quiet contemplation. Although some pieces appear defensive, vulnerable or defiant, the feeling here is of release. It is as if she peels off the layers of her identity to honor each emotion, recognize them and hold them up as singular, name them and give them agency. What Turnbull asks us here is, is there an essentialness to us? A truth that is untouched by others’ perceptions of us? Or is it through these judgments and evaluations that we create ourselves, as we internalize and respond to them? When you strip them all off, is there something left? Or is it only when all masks are integrated that we find the self that is you?