Maya Watanabe (b.1983 in Lima, Peru) is known for her multi-channel video installations in which the unspeakable becomes present, not by being voiced, but by its effect being made tangible. She makes tangible the tension and the ongoing process of creeping violence that is characteristic of the internal conflict in her home country Peru, which gradually but persistently changes everyday life and produces gaps in the emotional landscapes of the people affected by it.
Watanabe work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions at Asian Art Biennial, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung (2019); Coimbra Biennial of Contemporary Art, Coimbra (2019); 13th Havana Biennial (2019); MAXXI, Rome (2019); Art Museum of Lima (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019); 13th Media Arts Biennial, National Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago (2017); Kyoto Art Center (2017); Fridericianum, Kassel (2016); Kadist Foundation, San Francisco (2016); Matadero, Madrid (2014); Frestas: Art Triennial, São Paulo (2014); Lima Photography Biennial (2014); Pantallas del Video Arte Peruano, Fundación Telefónica, Lima (2010); V Marmara Triennial, Istanbul (2010); Beijing Biennale, (2009); Amsterdam Mediamatic Biennale (2009); and Contemporary Art Festival FAC, Básico Art Collective, Lima (2006). In 2021 she participated in Genealogies in the Middle East and Latin America (Sharjah Art Foundation).
Among Watanabe’s awards are ARCOmadrid Award, Hans Nefkens Foundation, Madrid (2018); DAFO Peruvian National Competition of Experimental Films, Lima (2016); 19th Festival Internacional SESC_VIDEOBRASIL, Res Artis residency prize, Kyoto Art Center; (2015); Videoakt, International Videoart Biennial, LOOP Fair, Barcelona (2011); and FIVA, Festival Internacional de Videoarte Almirante Brown, Buenos Aires (2011). She has participated in residencies at The Watermill Center, New York (2019); Kyoto Art Center (2016); Matadero Madrid, Spain (2012); and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2010).
Watanabe earned a BFA from the School of Fine Arts and Architecture of the Universidad Europea, Madrid (2006) and an MA in Art Praxis, Dutch Art Institute (DAI), ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem (2018). She is completing her PhD at the Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College (University of London).
Maya Watanabe currently lives and works in Amsterdam where she teaches at the Rietveld Academie.
Learn more about Maya's 20 minute presentation STASIS for CONSTANT CRAVING ~ PERFORMING UNDER CONDITIONS - DAI's 3 day graduation lectures marathon, June 2018 was entitled
Learn more about Maya Watanabe’s written MA thesis (DAI, 2018): Death Beyond Control