Shigeko Kubota was a renowned video artist, sculptor, and avant-garde performance artist who bridged connections between American and Japanese artists throughout her career. Born in Japan, Kubota studied sculpture at Tokyo University and became well-known as a multimedia artist in the Tokyo avant-garde scene of the 1960s.1 She joined the group Ongaku, which experimented with performance, music, and visual arts. Kubota relocated to New York in 1964, where she established herself as an active participant in the Fluxus art movement, of which she would later be named Vice Chairman.2 Invited into the movement by the founder, artist George Maciunas, Kubota also derived her inspiration from the works of Marcel Duchamp, Yoko Ono, and John Cage.
Kubota is highly regarded as a pioneer in the extension of video into sculpture as well as the establishment of video as a significant element of art history. Much of her work delves into the impact of technology on memory and emotions. Kubota has achieved this effect through the use of personal narratives, as seen in her series Video Diary, which chronicles her personal life on video, as well as Korean Grace and Winter in Miami, which eulogize her late husband, Nam June Paik.
Kubota resided in New York until her death in 2015. Her work has been exhibited globally, from Chicago to Amsterdam, and both the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo have dedicated exhibitions to her life and work.
The New York Times: Shigeko Kubota A Creator of Video Sculptures Dies at 77
ArtNews: Shigeko Kubota Who Was She and Why Is She Important
ArtForum: Video | Interview with Shigeko Kubota