Naoe Suzuki was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1967. She first came to the U.S. in 1985 as an exchange student, and has lived in the U.S. since then. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Naoe received grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 2015, Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2006 (Drawing/Printmaking/Artist's Books) and 2001 (Sculpture and Installation,) Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (2013 & 2004,) Puffin Foundation, Artist's Fellowships, Inc., and Blanche E. Colman Award.
She was awarded multiple artist residency fellowships including Blue Mountain Center in New York, MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, Jentel in Wyoming, and Millay Colony for the Arts in New York. In 2017, Naoe was awarded a research residency at Tokyo Wonder Site Residency in Japan where she explored "ankyo," buried rivers in Tokyo for a month. From 2016 to 2017, Naoe was appointed as the Artist-in-Residence at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a renown biomedical research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Her art practice includes drawing, works on paper, and installation. Her work is inspired and informed by research in a wide range of subjects from history of medicine, science, conjoined twins, water issues, climate change, and environmentalism. Often, she is drawn to subject that is invisible, forgotten, lost, or buried, such as magic spells used as medical treatment in ancient Egypt. One of her projects at the Broad Institute incorporated magic spells from the medical papyrus in ancient Egypt, juxtaposing with the paper on the initial sequencing of the human genome, and the scientific notations and writings that she traced from the white boards at the Broad Institute.
Her solo exhibitions include Broad Institute, Boston Arts Academy, VanDernoot Gallery at Lesley University College of Art and Design, Kiznick Gallery at Brandeis University, and Open Source Gallery in New York. Her group exhibitions include the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Massachusetts, Burlington City Arts in Vermont, Albany International Airport Gallery in New York, Denise Bibro Fine Art Inc., in New York, Asian American Arts Center in New York, Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, Judy Ann Goldman Fine Art in Boston, and AREA Space in Toronto.
Naoe received MFA in Studio for Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 1997, and BA in Art from Bridgewater State University with double minors in Dance and Women's Studies in 1992. Naoe continues to dance to this day in her spare time. In the last eight years, she has been dancing zouk, earning her zouk instructor certificate from Zouk New York in 2013. Recently, she has taken up Gaga movement, a contemporary dance class at Harvard Dance Program.