Akiko Surai is a multi-disciplined artist, educator, and writer working in San Diego, California. Her work is rooted in critique and research. She explores spaces, materials, and objects as touchstones for memory and conceptual signifiers in media ranging from photography, embroidery, sculpture, painting, poetry, and drawing as well as curatorial and writing 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.
Surai is a former contributing editor of contemporary art practice for Fabulously Feminist Magazine and recently finished editing an 800-year survey of art history for international collector Matthew Strauss. She works in education and engagement with the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and at the San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery. She is affiliated with the Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego, Emerging Museum Professionals, LOUD collective and the Feminist Image Group, she envisions an art world connected by community and critical discourse.