alex nichols

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Portable Studio in Berlin, 2016 Photography/Video © Alex Nichols & Mushi Woo Seong James
Portable Studio Berlin © Alex Nichols & Mushi Woo Seong James
Portable Studio Taipei Photography/ Video/Participation Installation © Alex Nichols & Mushi Woo Seong James
Porable Studio Pier 96 San Francisco Photography/ Video/Participation Installation © Alex Nichols & Mushi Woo Seong James
Portable Studio Tokyo, 2015 Photography/ Video/Participation Installation © Alex Nichols
Portable Studio Taipei Photography/ Video/Participation Installation © Alex Nichols & Mushi Woo Seong James
Alex Nichols & Mushi Woo Seong James at work in Taipei © Alex Nichols & Mushi Woo Seong James
Alex Nichols & Mushi Woo Seong James carrying Portable Studio in Taipei
Alex Nichols in Tokyo with Portable Studio © Alex Nichols
Mobile phone box in Paris, 2016 © Alex Nichols & Mushi Woo Seong James
Strings Attached, 2013 Photography Performance © Alex Nichols
Strings Attached, 2013 Photography/Video Performance © Alex Nichols
Q & A Collaboration: Alex Nichols & Qinmin Liu, 2016 © Alex Nichols & Qinmin Liu
Q & A Collaboration: Alex Nichols & Qinmin Liu in San Francisco Photography/Video/Performance Tour © Alex Nichols & Qinmin Liu & Shen
Q & A Collaboration: Alex Nichols & Qinmin Liu in San Francisco Photography/Video Performance © Alex Nichols & Qinmin Liu & Shen
Video Still © alexhnichols
Video Still, Photograph © alexhnichols
Folding Photography/Video Performance © Alex Nichols
Folding Photography/Video Performance © Alex Nichols
Quick Facts
San Francisco
Lives in
San Francisco
Works in
San Francisco
California College of the Arts, 2011, MFA Writing
Claremont Colleges, BA Performance & Culture
poetry reading performance, visual/poetry, mixed-media, video-art, performance, modern, photography, conceptual, exhibition/performance

Alex Nichols is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer involved in Critical Contact Art. She explores identity, connection and communication through the body experience. The question at the core of Alex's work is how the body can become the place of active resistance. Her goal is to connect and communicate through a primal language that bridges the borders of language, culture and gender using systems of art.  Based on the belief that "an idea must be experienced to become ones own"

A native of San Francisco, Alex received her MFA from CCA in 2011. She has participated in international residencies in Taipei, Czech Republic and exhibited her work throughout the Bay Area including the Headlands Center for the Arts, Recology Artist in Residence Program, Southern Exposure, Berkeley Art Center, NUMU Museum, Fort  Mason Center for Art & Culture and Modernism West. In 2016 she gave a lecture at AIA (American Institute of Architects). In collaboration with MOCA Taipei & Bamboo Cultural Center Alex & Mushi brought the Portable Studio to Taipei in 2017.

Alex is Executive Director of TMT, an artist collective founded with Mushi Woo Seong James and Qinmin Liu in 2016 in San Francisco. TMT is a collaborative space that develops projects and events that bring interdisciplinary artists and the public together. 


The Portable Studio—Alex and Mushi's  participatory project that examines communication and conection across cultures. It has travelled to Taipei, Tokyo, Berlin, Venice, and around the US.  “Our goal is to look at the core of how people communicate and connect,” says Nichols. “We are trying to push beyond gender and cultural conditioning to build a new conversation.

Q & A is a project built by Alex and Qinmin—creating 'meetings' performances based in the navigation of identity and culture. The first itteration was a performance that took place on the San Francisco Bay in June 2016. What is the power of fantasy and play? Hard questions of assimilation and identity aresometimes best attacked at a slant. With that idea, Qinmin and Alex built their rafts and clear five foot boxes. Qinmin Liu chose to kayak her own fantasy, Alex chose to inhabit her fantasy bystepping into the box.



California College of Arts, San Francisco, CA—MFA Writing, 2011

Pitzer College, Claremont, CA—BFA Performance & Culture, 1991



Unbuilding Walls, MODERNISM WEST, SF, CA. March 30-May 31, 2017

City in the Sky, A live art exchange between SF & Marseille, La Deviation, Marseille, France  May 2017

Call & Response, Performance, SPACE 151, improvisation between sound and body. Jorge Bachman & Kevin Corcoran, Alex Nichols & Mushi Woo Seoung James SF, CA USA December, 2016

Kontakt, Space 151, SF, CA USA December, 2016

Fortnights, The Portable Studio, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, SF, CA USA  2016

The Space Between, MODERNISM WEST, SF, CA June- September, 2015

Do not Throw Away, Art from Recology Residency, Canada College, Redwood City, CA, 2013

This will Never Work, Juried Film Screening at Southern Exposure, Selector Mary Magsamen, SF. 2013

Risk, Selected by Aspara DiQuinzio & Kimberly Johnasson, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA, 2013

XX6: Fisch Haus women’s Invitational, Fisch Haus, Wichita, KS, 2013

SF Recology, Embarcadero Four, San Francisco, CA 2012

SF Environmental Film Festival 2012

Transfer Station, Solo Exhibit, SF Recology Artists Residency Exhibit, SF CA 2011

Breaking Ranks/Human/ Nature, Selected by Amanda Davidson, Performance, Headlands, CA 2011

Undifferentiated Light, Gallerie Califia, Horazd’ovice, Czech Republic, July, 2011

Containment, Reading at Timken Hall, CCA, SF, CA, 2011

Feel Tank, Selected by Miranda Mellis, Little City Gardens, SF, CA , 2011

Heteronyms, MODERNISM WEST, 2010



Bamboo Curtain Artist Residency Program Taipei, Taiwan. April/May 2017.

Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, January-March 2016. Residency ended with exhibition at Fort Nights.

1913: Journal of Forms, First Poetry Book Award, Semi-Finalist 2012

ArtMill Artist Residency Program, Bohemia, Czech Republic,  Summer 2011 &  Teacher Summer 2012.

SF Recology Artist In Residency Program, San Francisco, CA  Spring 2011.

All-College-Honors Award, Short Story, “Containment,” California College of Arts, San Francisco, CA 2010



Jonathan Curiel, “The Sultan of Ambiguity and the Unbuilt walls,” SF Weekly, April 26 , 2017.

MOCA TAIPAI, “The Portable Studio”  April 22, 2017.藝術移動工

TAIPEI TV, “The Portable Studio at Zhuwei elementary school,” Mangrove TV Channel, April 25, 2017.

Sam Whiting, “Evicted artsist thinks inside the box with portable studio,” SF Chronicle, December 28, 2016.

Banmboo Curain Studio, “Outside the box: BCS artist’s Alex Nichols & Mushi,” Bamboo Curtain Residency article, May 3, 2017.

Anna Volpicelli, “Art Openings in April: A fake Newsroom, de young’s summer of love + more,” 7X7, April 03, 2017.

Time Out San Francisco Editors, “6 art exhibits to see in the bay area this april,”  Time Out, April 4, 2017.

Sirin Kale, “Being a broke young creative in San Francisco,” DAZED, 2016.

Sophie Von Bueren, “Alex Nichols, The Space Between,” Wall Street International Art, September 8, 2015.

Lindsay Westbrook, “ Seeking Epiphany: Writing Student Alex Nichols to complete SF Dump Artist Residency May 20-21,”  At A Glance, California College Of the Arts Journal, May 9, 2011.

Tom Comitta, “Er-ar-am-I by Alex Nichols,” calmaplombprombombalm, poetry online publication, 2012.   The active form of poem

Heidi De Vries, “Breaking Ranks’ at the Headlands: Poetry, Art, Nature — and Simulated Sex in a Latrine,"  SF Weekly, February 14, 2011.



Executive Director of TMT Artist Collective, organization dedicated to building a community around collaboration, experimentation, improvisation. Founded in 2016.



AIASF + CADSF, American Institute of Architects, Artist Talk on Resilient City:Strength by Design. San Francisco, Guest Lecturer, San Francisco, CA, October 12, 2016.

MOCA TAIPEI, “The Portable Studio” Taipei, Taiwan April 2017.

Bamboo Curtain Studios Artist Talk, When the grain rain begins to fall:

USF, Stephanie Sears focus is on gender, race and ethnicity, youth cultures, and power and marginalization. Alex and Mushi brought the Portable Studio into two classes, to explore those questions in an artistic form via Portable Studio Project, USF Visiting project, San Francisco, CA. Fall 2016 & Spring 2017

CCA,Denise Newman, Graduate Poetry—multi-media poet and translator, involved in video, installation, and social practice projects. California College of Arts, SF, 2015

CCA, Denise Newman, Graduate Poetry, California College of Arts, SF, CA, 2014

CCA, Brevity Matt Shears Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies, California College of Arts, SF, CA, 2013

CCA, “NonSynchronous” Yoko Tawada. Denise Newman Graduate Poetry, California College of Arts, SF, CA, 2013

ARtMill, Mural Project at Artmill, Large sacle mural with students around ideas of language and culture. ArtMill, Czech Republic, Visiting Teacher 2012

CCA, “Waterworks” Katherine Rinne, Architecture, Urban Planning, CCA, California College of Arts, SF, 2011

SFUSD, San Francisco Unified School District, Volunteer Art & Poetry Teacher for grades K8 Murals, Sculpture, Painting, Drawing, Poetry 2005-2013