Akiko Surai is a multi-disciplined artist living and working in San Diego, California. Surai’s work focuses on exploring spaces and objects as touchstones for memory and conceptual signifiers. Her media ranges from photography, embroidery, sculpture, painting, and drawing to various curatorial and research projects.

Surai earned her Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with honors and distinction at San Diego State University in 2011, completed graduate work at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2013 and holds a specialized certificate in museum studies with an emphasis in contemporary art. Outside of traditional studio arts, Surai also has a passion for tattoo culture and history. She was invited to participate in Lee Mingwei’s Living Room Project at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2014 where she designed and presented a correspondence project exploring tattooing as a contemporary craft and art medium with a rich and varied history.

Surai works as a Gallery Educator and Engagement Liaison at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and teaches at multiple San Diego County Middle and High Schools through the Extended School Partnership program focusing on visual literacy, critical thinking, and integrating contemporary art history and practice into the common core curriculum.