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Mapping is an exhibition by Naoe Suzuki at the Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts from October 19th through December 9th, 2020. The exhibition takes place in multiple locations on campus. It is open to the Rivers School community but not to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Mapping is one way we come to understand the world through organizing and systemizing layers of information. The organization of information helps us understand the scope of data and information visually. 


Suzuki, a native of Japan, recalls that the first drawing she remembers making was a map drawing at the age of three while living in Tokyo. She ventured to a park on her own one day and came back home, then drew a map to convince her mother that she walked to the park by herself. This experience taught her that maps can tell stories with information. She also understood the power of maps.


In this exhibition, Suzuki presents several different bodies of work that are related to mapping and maps. The collecting and organizing of layers of information in science, and the weaving of histories can be seen as her attempt to understand the unknown and the time we are in. The drawings based on historical maps are presented with selected information visible within the cartographic system. Her choice of selection, in this case, are the names of animals found on the maps of the Adirondacks Wilderness. It is these hidden inhabitants on the lands that speak from the darkness. She says, “Can you hear them cry even from the maps?”

About the Artist:

Naoe Suzuki is a visual artist with a deep interest in the environment. She was born in Tokyo, Japan, and came to this country in 1985 as a high school exchange student. Her work is conceptually driven and explores our relationship with the environment through drawing, language, maps, and history. 


Suzuki received a BA in Art from Bridgewater State University with double minors in Dance and Women's Studies in 1992 and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Studio for Interrelated Media in 1997. She has received grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council (2001 and 2006), Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (2004 and 2013), Puffin Foundation, Artist's Fellowships, Inc., and the Blanche E. Colman Award. Her residency fellowships include Blue Mountain Center, MacDowell Colony, Jentel, Millay Colony for the Arts, and Tokyo Wonder Site in Japan. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts.

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