Naoko Okabe

artist statement

Naoko Okabe was born in Tokyo and had a very happy childhood protected by her angelic mother. Naoko's challenging spirit was formed through the fights against her 4-year-older brother. She met a handful of excellent friends when she joined the Book Club in the fourth grade. Some of them still remain as her closest friends.


She went to Tokyo Liberal Arts College to study Science Education. Her curiosity and ambition soon took her to the U.S., where she received a B.A. in American Studies from Temple University. She left for New York City to work, where she felt at home.

She enjoyed working first as a graphic designer and then as an art director in the hip creative atmosphere of advertising for years, however she gradually started feeling restless and craved for more freedom of expression. Since she loved the tactile-ness and malleability of clay, she worked with clay intensively in her spare time. In 2004, finally she decided to study fine arts seriously.


When Naoko received an M.A. in Art Studio from SUNY New Paltz in 2005, she felt she needed more cultivation in order to pursue her career as an artist. She moved from long-lived New York City to San Francisco in 2006. While she studied at California College of the Arts, her focus shifted from ceramics to sculptures, videos and installations. Naoko received an MFA from California College of the Arts in 2008. Although she loved the close proximity to the nature in San Francisco, she missed the energy and friends in NYC. She moved back to NYC in 2010.


copyright ©2008-2018 Naoko Okabe