Noe Iwai - 岩井のゑ

My practice is a dialogue between the political and the poetic.

Being Japanese is integral to my life and work, it influences the conflicts between Nature and the human; a constant shift between the material of the body and the material of the landscape.

The world and the people of Japan are in constant political flux.

My grandparents lived through Hiroshima and the Second World War, and traumas like this are embedded in the history, culture and physical landscape of the country and the whole world in its entirety.


I use traditional gesture and cultural ritual in performance as a way of addressing this wider collective heritage, but interpersonal and emotive narratives are woven with these threads.

I shift constantly between the past and the present, my childhood in Japan, the poetry, myths and the stories behind them, versus my identity in the moment of the performance.

These relationships are an ongoing vein of research in my work, that of care and respect - of family and friends in Japan and in England, as a connection to the wider cultural past.

I was lucky to be educated in England from the age of 15. This international environment allowed me to achieve a wider view without losing my traditional cultural background.


My karate, calligraphy and music practice both carry the essence of culture and the energy of speed, purpose and power, which I use in my painting and performance work.

These cultural elements of refinement, dedication and discipline are charged with the political power of the person and they are movements with the strength of history behind them.

Known materials such as sand, silk, rock, water and earth feature in my work, as references to landscape and craft.  Japan and my hometown are embedded in nature, and this nature and colour are embedded in my body.


I graduated from Goldsmiths University with a Degree in Fine Art in 2017, and in 2019 from MA Contemporary Art Practice - Performance pathway at the Royal College of Art.
In 2020 completed the study at the Royal College of Art with Master of Research(MRes) - Fine Arts & Humanity.



Royal College of Art - MRes Fine Arts & Humanities  2019  - 2020  (current)

Royal College of Art - MA Contemporary Art Practice : Performance, 2017 - 2019  

Goldsmiths University of London - BA FINE ART  2013 - 2017


Cambridge Center for Sixth-form Studies - A level: Fine Art, Design and Photography, 2011 - 2013


Licensed Victuallers School - A level: Fine Art, Music and English, 2010-2011

Exhibitions and Presentations



-Make It Public

Jonathan Ashley-smith and Diane Ashley smith in conversation with Noe Iwai - LINK

-Design Museum online link

11th of July


Presented work - Human Play A-Loan Game

Performed from at home in Portobello, London

-San Mei Gallery online link

13th - 27th of May

-Work in Progress Show (WIP)

Presented work - Bug Loves MoーNey: 金食い虫

At the Royal College of Art, London

-Dyson Gallery

31 of January - 2nd of February




Presented work - Fox Says: 狐言葉

Lichfield St, WV1 1DU

-Wolverhampton Art Gallery

5.6.7th of July

-SHOW 2019

Presented work - Fox Says: 狐言葉

1 Hester Rd, SW11 4AN

-Royal College of Art

28th of June - 7th of July


Presented work - Cocoon 冬季繭 II

Sheraton Park, Durham, DH1 4FL

-Ustinov College

2nd March


-Stage of Life

Presented work - Fox Says: 狐言葉

171 Uxbridge Road, HA5 4EA,

Harrow, UK

27th February 


-DisORDER Presents Disorders

Presented work - Fox Says: 狐言葉

92-94 Wallis Road, E9 5LN, London

-Studio 9294

27th February 





At Grow Tottenham, Ashley house, Ashley Rd, London

'Word or no words? Wine bottle or a bottle? Notes or paper?'



At The Doodle bar


- Revolve  Performance Art Days

At Uppsala, Sweden


- Live pt 1 

At the Royal College of Art, London


 - CAP Baret

At the Royal College of Art, London

‘The Sound of Wind Chimes’


- ‘Rumble to the Core Mexico Fundraiser’

At the Deptford Cinema, London, United Kingdom


- Work in Progress Show (WIP)

At the Royal College of Art, London

‘Beyond the Curve is Cold’







- Degree Show

At the Goldsmiths College, London

‘Fox Rain - 狐雨



 - ‘Inhabit’

 At the 137 – 139 Copeland Road, London







- ‘On the Threshold ll.’

At the Oriental Museum in Durham, Supported by Durham University,

The Oriental Museum, and Ustinov College, United Kingdom.


Theater Work and Leadership

July 2015 - September 2015

Red  (play) - Directed by Eriko Ogawa

Produced by SIS COMPANY

New National Theatre, Tokyo, Japan.

Painting Leadership and Scenic Design for the theatre play RED.

- Teaching actors how to paint the under layers of Mark Rothko’s painting using theatrical methods.

- Painted seven of well known Mark Rothko’s paintings (3m in size) for the theatre set.

Collaborations and Podcast


-Make It Public

Jonathan Ashley-smith and Diane Ashley smith in conversation with Noe Iwai

-Design Museum online link

11th of July




'Do you Wanna Play?' by Noe Iwai Featured in  'Nothinhg Really Matress'  by PANICATTACK DUO

Blooming New Contemporaries 2018

At the South London Gallery



- ‘CUSP’

by Isobel Adderley


8th - 9th of Feb 


- ‘On the importance of Insects’

by Hattie Godfrey

At the New Shoreditch Theater 



by Isobel Adderley

At the Dungeness sound mirrors


- ‘CUSP’

by Isobel Adderley

At the Goldsmiths College London