PRESS/FEATURES/INTERVIEWS

A Spliced, Inverted and Distorted

Identity: MIYA TURNBULL

Miya Turnbull is a Canadian multidisciplinary artist of

Japanese, English and Scottish heritage. Recurringly

using her own likeness as her motif, she explores

themes of identity, creating masks as three-

dimensional self-portraits. Through sculpture,

photography, collage and origami, Turnbull examines

emotions of being "in-between"-referencing her

mixed ancestry-and explores the vulnerabilities of the

ever-changing physical appearance. Through spliced

and distorted faces, multiple photorealistic eyes as well

as the intertwining of cultural identity elements,

Turnbull's works evoke notions of surrealism and

disillusionment, triggering sentiments of the uncanny

valley. Although mainly working with masks, Turnbull

has worked with mediums such as animation, textiles,

and film.

In her latest short film "Omote(面)" which can be

translated as surface or face, she works with

Vancouver-based dance artist Shion Skye Carter who is

also of mixed-Japanese heritage to reflect on the

diaspora of being of Nikkei heritage; Nikkei referring to

Japanese emigrants, or descendants born overseas.

Lovers of Shintaro Kago or Satoshi Kon will surely be

captivated by Turnbull's work as some of her work

bears a likeness to the former, just in a real-life

rendition

To see more of her work head over to her Instagram

@miyamask
 

Written by Gata Magazine, an independent online magazine based in Tokyo, Japan.
Featured on their Instagram account, May 29th, 2022

I am the cover and featured artist in the latest issue of MASKS Literary Magazine, which is an independent, non-profit literary magazine, published in partnership with the Columbia College Chicago Library and the Aesthetics of Research Program.

Read the online version of the magazine here (available in print soon)

Read my full interview here

The Perfect Magazine (UK)- Interview and Feature

January 2nd, 2022

Thank you to Danny Forbes for the thought provoking questions and also to Amelia White, senior editor.

Art Reveal Magazine, Issue #59.png
So thrilled and proud to be the Cover and Featured Artist in this International Contemporary Art Magazine based out of Germany. 

Check out my masks, sculptures, photographs and an interview where I talk about my influences, challenges, the local art scene in Nova Scotia and my future plans. This magazine is full of amazing artwork from around the world from 18 artists. 

To read the Online Magazine, please visit: 

If you have trouble reading my interview, you can see it here

Click here to order a printed copy: 

ISBN: 9781006890352

Planted Journal is a digital magazine based out of Milan, with a mandate of “bridging the gap between human and nature through art and romance. To get closer to nature, we must first understand ourselves. Hence: The Body Issue.” Thank you to Priyanka Singh for the very challenging and thought provoking questions!

To read the full interview and see my responses: please visit their website

Interview and Feature: August 17th, 2021

Nikkei Monogatari, Volume 1 is a beautiful online zine presented by Japanese For Nikkei and I’m so honoured to have my artwork included in it.

 

Nikkei is defined as people of Japanese descent, and there are many ‘diverse perspectives on what Nikkei identity means’. The ‘first volume of Nikkei Monotagari features the work of artists and writers who share their experiences of living in-between spaces, places and identities.’

 

Artwork by: Dona Nabata, Anna Omori and Miya Turnbull

Esssays & Critical Reflections by: Maria Claridge, Linda Cooper, Aurora Tsai and Ken Yoshida. 

 

A huge thanks to co-founders: Mimi Okabe and Catherine Sachi Kikuchi for all their hard work on this labour of love!

Read it for free online here

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.jpg

Print/Online/TV

-The Warriors Within Collective Magazine, Featured Artist. Vol 10, Aug 2022. Pages 16-19 (US)

 

-Artsin Square, Featured Artist. Issue #2, pages 122-125. Spring 2022 (Canada)

- People and Places, Artist Talk Magazine. Issue #18, page 84. January 2022. ISSN: 12090882 (UK)

-"Miya Turnbull's exploration of vulnerability through the art of Origami and Paper Mache." Interviewed by Danny Forbes, The Perfect Magazine, January 2nd, 2022. (UK)

-"If Two Faced People Aren't Enough, World Class Artist Has Created 100 Masks for Everyone to Experience. Feature and article by Nattanam Waiyahong, Vogue Thailand. Nov 11th, 2021. (Thailand)

 

-MASKS Literary Magazine, Columbia College Chicago Library. Cover/Featured Artist. Interviewed by C.T. Lisa. Issue #2, Fall 2021. (USA)

-"Nocturne Welcomes over 100 Artists over 4 nights", CBC News. (Art featured). October 13th, 2021. 

-"Holding Liminal Space". The Clayton Park Wire. (Image) Page 4. Oct 13th, 2021.

-"Nikkei Monogatari", Volume #1. Japanese for Nikkei. Art featured on pages 0, 22-24. Fall 2021​.

-"Exploring Identity/ Miya Turnbull", Interviewed by Priyanka Singh, Planted Journal, Issue #1- The Body, Aug 17th, 2021 (Milan/India).

-Artist Directory, Aesthetica Magazine, Issue #102, Aug/Sept 2021. Page 142; ISSN 1743-271 (UK).

Art Reveal Magazine no. 59, May 2021, Cover/Featured Artist and Interview. Pages 1, 4, 104-109; ISBN: 9781006890352 (Germany).

-"Engaging Creativities: Art in the Pandemic, a virtual exhibit" Promotional Video for Exhibit presented by University of Alberta (Dept of Art and Design) and RSC (Royal Society of Canada). April 16th, 2021.

-"A Mask of One's Own"Authored and presented by Nataliya Tchermalykh (University of Geneva) at the Royal Anthropological Institute Conference in Visual Anthropology as part of the RAI Film Festival (normally occurring in Bristol, UK, but online this year due to Covid). March 19-28th, 2021.

-"O rosto é a primeira máscara: as artes visuais de Miya Turnbull (The face is the first mask: the visual arts of Miya Turnbull)". Oficina Palimpsestus. (Artist Feature.) March 9th, 2021. (Brazil)

-"Miya Turnbull: The Face Behind the Mask". Interviewed by Norm Masaji Ibuki, Discover Nikkei. February 25th, 2021 (Part 1) February 26th, 2021 (Part 2). 

-Visual Arts Abstract. (Art Feature), presented by Christopher Webb, 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”. Interview and article by Kelly Fleck, editor of Nikkei Voice. 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.” Katherine Yamashita, Six-Star Magazine (Subaru Life). 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". Interviewed by Heather White Brittain, The Dartmouth Laker: Laker Arts. 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" Interviewed by Shahin Sayadi, hosted by Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia (60 min). Episode 23. March 22nd, 2006. (See video below)

-Eastlink Television. "The Fax" Interview by Sarah Hoyles about my masks in "Media Masquerade" exhibit at Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax. Aired October 27th, 2005. (See video below)

Interviews/Presentations/Artist Talk:

Interviews/ Artist Talks

Interviews/ Artist Talks

Eastlink Television "The Fax" Interview with Miya Turnbull, 2005

Excerpts of Interview with Miya Turnbull, 2006

G101 Artist Talk: Behind Between Beyond

Essay by Mindy Hurlburt-Wong, 2008

-written for Miya's catalogue 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?