Shikow Shiraiwa

Shikoh Shiraiwa is a doctoral candidate at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and began a joint programme with the University of Antwerp, Belgium, in July 2021. His research project is “Ideology of Heritage, Museum, Cultural Politics, and Construction of National Identity in Finland and Japan”, based on interviews with museum professionals in national museums in both nations. Simultaneously, he explores the coloniality of the knowledge-building system of academia, connecting to and questioning current decolonizing and sustainability discourses. In this pursuit, he aims to engage research more freely beyond the academic frameworks of separated disciplines, methodologies, and philosophy. He explores different ways of thinking, such as indigenous ontology, East Asian thinking/philosophy (such as in China and Japan), and the perspectives of decolonial thinkers such as (but not limited to) Walter Mignolo and Ramón Grosfoguel. He is originally from Japan and lived in Oklahoma, USA, for seventeen years, receiving his Bachelor’s in 2D Art, and a Master’s in (Art) Education and Museum Studies from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). He worked at the UCO as a curator, collection manager, researcher, registrar, educational programme developer, student internship supervisor, donor-relation assistant, and grants writer. Collections he managed included Sub-Sahara African Arts, Oklahoma Arts (including Native American Arts), Europe-American Art (Renaissance to contemporary), Oceanian Arts, and Ancient American Arts (e.g. Maya and Teotihuacán). He moved to Helsinki, Finland, to start his doctoral programme in 2019.