Miya Turnbull

About Miya Turnbull

Miya Turnbull is a multi-disciplinary visual artist of mixed Japanese Canadian ancestry. She grew up on a farm near Onoway, AB (NW of Edmonton) and graduated from the University of Lethbridge  with a B.F.A. She has been based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) for the past 20 years. She works with many different mediums, but is primarily a mask artist, and new to her practice is performance. She focuses on Self-Portraits, using her Photo-Mask technique to make life-like variations and representations of her face, often distorting and manipulating her image as a way to explore identity.

She has exhibited her masks, photos, and video in galleries in Canada and internationally, most recently at the Bonavista Biennale in Newfoundland and a solo exhibit at Acadia University Art Gallery, Wolfville. Her artwork has been on the cover of three magazines: Visual Arts News (Atlantic Canada), Art Reveal (Germany), and Masks Literary Magazine (Columbia College Chicago Library), as well as featured on digital platforms such as Vogue (Thailand), Planted Journal (Italy), Gata Magazine (Japan), Oficina Palimpsestus (Brazil), and The Perfect Magazine (UK), Based Istanbul (Turkey) and Foxylab New York Magazine (USA).

Miya’s artwork was researched and presented at the Royal Anthropological Institute in Bristol (2021) by a social anthropologist, Dr. Nataliya Tchermalykh (University of Geneva), and her masks were used in a short film in France called Nô Feminist, directed by Aïssa Maïga, which premiered at the 75th Cannes Film Festival (2022). Miya has been very fortunate to receive the support of Arts Nova Scotia and the Canada Council for the Arts, which has allowed her artwork to flourish.

Miya Turnbull Artist Talk- 20 years in 20 minutes


Video Resources:

Expression Unmasked Inspired by Miya Turnbull: "Self-Portrait Masks"

Performing with Masks

Eastlink Television "The Fax" Interview with Miya Turnbull, 2005

G101 Artist Talk: Behind Between Beyond