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Marco Bohr

Associate Professor

Design and Digital Arts


Dr. Marco Bohr joined NTU in April 2020 as the Associate Professor in Design and Digital Arts based in the School of Art & Design. His role is to support, facilitate and promote research activities within the Design and Digital Arts Department.

Career overview

Originally from Germany, Marco holds a BFA in Image Arts from Ryerson University, Toronto, a Masters of Photography from the Royal College of Art and a Masters in the History of Art with specialism on early Japanese photography from SOAS, University of London. In 2011 Marco was awarded a PhD from the University of Westminster for a theoretical thesis that investigates contemporary Japanese photography. The thesis examines the work of a new generation of female photographers who emerged during the social, economic and political shifts of the post-bubble era (1990-1999). Marco was a Visiting Fellow at The Australian National University in Canberra where he taught photography theory and practice for one semester in 2011. Marco joined Loughborough University in 2012 as Lecturer in Visual Communication, expanding to the role as Postgraduate Programme Director for the Arts from 2015 to 2019. Marco is Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy HEA since 2019. He joined NTU in April 2020 as the Associate Professor in Design and Digital Arts.

Research areas

Marco’s research is concerned with the role that images play in the shaping of a variety of discourses related to politics, gender, identity, sexuality, censorship, ethics and disasters. Stemming from his background as an exhibiting photographer, Marco’s research interest is principally focused on the photographic image - not only as a medium of visual expression but also as a research methodology and a tool for political activism. Marco’s research interest also extends to visual propaganda, cinema, documentary and essay film. He is currently working on the single-authored monograph titled Visual Counterculture in Japan which analyses the intersection between visual trends as well as countercultural shifts in Japan from the late 1960s to the present. The book is under contract with Bloomsbury.

Marco has published two edited books:

Capture Japan: Visual Culture and the Global Imagination from 1952 to the Present

Published by Bloomsbury in 2022, the book is a collection of twelve interdisciplinary essays which investigate the profound impact that images have had in shaping perceptions about Japan, both abroad as well as in Japan itself.

The Evolution of the Image: Political Action and the Digital Self

Published by Routledge in 2018, with a paperback version published in 2020, this co-edited volume critically evaluates the role of the image circulating in digital communities and the impact this has on the formation of identities.

Marco has contributed to a number of edited volumes such as The Contemporary Visual Studies ReaderFrontiers of Screen HistoryOn PerfectionFilms on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic as well as the book series Directory of World Cinema and World Film Locations. Marco wrote the foreword to the photography book Kim Jong Il Looking at Things published Jean Boîte Éditions. Marco is on the editorial board for the journal East Asian Journal of Popular Culture.

PhD Completions:

Dr. Holly Hou - An Exploration of Social Photography in a Visitor Museum Experience: Understanding Engagement and Communication through a Mixed Methods Study Incorporating Service Design, 2022.

Dr. Dominika Mackiewicz -  'Photography as another Reality':  Representations of the 'Everyday' in Photographs by Takashi Homma, Naoya Hatakeyama and Rinko Kawauchi, 2022.

Current PhD Supervisions:

Fu Xing - Zipai: Reflections on Contemporary Identities of Chinese Women born after 1990

Marion Derouineau - Fashioning Digital Models: New Discourses on Posing and Contextualising the Body in Niche Fashion Magazines

Zeynep Serinkaya Winter -  Digital Intimate Publics, Yeşilçam Fandom and Nostalgia for Old Turkey

Sam Coope - Memetic Hazard: Understanding Memetic Intent, Origin and Inference via Visual and Contextual Analysis

Jack Cole - Burgeoning liminality: artistic collectives and post-Brexit tensions in Northern Ireland

Enquiries to the following PhD Opportunities are very welcome:

AI Generated Art: An Investigation into Computational Creativity

Community-based Participatory Research in the Arts: Practice, Innovation and Analysis (with Professor Katherine Townsend)

Film: and Ecology of Light (with Dr. Lars Koens)

Filmic Visions and Pushing Boundaries (with Dr. Cüneyt Çakırlar)

Photography and Digital Marketing for Fashion (with Professor Anthony Kent)

Photography and the Digital Body

Photography, Landscape and Trauma (with Dr. Katja Hock and Fiona MacLaren)

Visual Culture and Japan: Context, Critique and Analysis (with Dr. Hui-Ying Kerr)

Visual Culture in Times of Political Change (with Dr. Isabel Story)

Visual Memes and Viral Images: Analysis, Discourse, Politics (with Dr. Jemma Gilboy)

Visual Propaganda and the Covid-19 Crisis - A Critical Enquiry (with Dr. Colin Alexander)

Anyone interested in these or another related PhD topic is welcome to get in touch with Marco via email.

External activity

Marco has delivered academic papers at Yale University, University of California Berkeley, University of Turku, NTU Singapore and Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. In addition to his academic research, Marco has written articles on photography and visual culture for a number of publications which include Photoworks, FOAM, Source, TIME Magazine’s LightBox Blog and the Photomonitor. Since 2016 Marco provides trend analysis for Kantar Futures, a global strategic insight and innovation consultancy based in New York.

As practising photographer Marco has exhibited his work in several museums and galleries such as Musée de l'Élysée, Arc en Rêve Centre d’Architecture, Mummery+Schnelle, Gallery 44, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Japan Foundation, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Photo Gallery International Tokyo, Contemporary Art Center Mito, FoMu and the Liverpool Biennale. Marco’s photographs have been published in the Harvard Design Magazine, Le Monde Diplomatique and the book reGeneration: 50 photographers of tomorrow.

Marco was the External Examiner for the MA Photography programme at the University of Brighton from 2017 to 2020. He was the External Examiner for Dr. Hung Ky Nguyen: ‘Aesthetics of ambiguity and mystery in late 20th century Japanese posters’, Curtin University, Perth, in 2014.

Sponsors and collaborators

  • PI, VASDiV: Visual Activism and Sexual Diversity in Vietnam, funded by AHRC (GCRF), Research Networking Grant. Collaborating institutions include Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population CCIHP as well as the The Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment iSEE, both based in Hanoi, Vietnam. July 2019 to July 2021.
  • Co-I, UK-Africa Network to Improve the Nutrition of Infants and Young Children Living in Poverty (NINO LIP) in Urbanising Sub-Saharan African Countries, funded by MRC (GCRF), PI Professor Paula Griffiths, Loughborough University, Research Networking Grant, March 2018 to March 2019.
  • Co-I, TACLED project: Transitions in African Cities Leveraging Evidence for Diet-related Non-Communicable Diseases, MRC-led Foundation Award to study dietary transitions in African cities in Ghana and Kenya. PI Professor Michelle Holdsworth, University of Sheffield, April 2017 to April 2019.
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship awarded by Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences JSPS, based at the Graduate School for Core Ethics and Frontier Science at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, from January to July 2017.
  • Fellowship awarded by the Japan Foundation with two-month stay in Tokyo to research ‘The Photographic Representation of Post-Tsunami Landscapes’, 2013.
  • European Eyes on Japan / Japan Today vol.10, with two travel grants to Japan, production allowance, exhibition catalogue, exhibitions in Mito, Japan and Liverpool, 2008.
  • Three-Year PhD AHRC Scholarship awarded by the Centre for Research and Education in Art and Education CREAM, University of Westminster, 2007 to 2010.

Marco is keen to collaborate on interdisciplinary funding bids and can be contacted at any time for enquiries.


Bohr, Marco, Visual Counterculture in Japan, under contract with Bloomsbury.

Bohr, Marco (ed.) (2022), Capture Japan: Visual Culture and the Global Imagination from 1952 to the Present, Bloomsbury.

Bohr, Marco (2021), Reconfiguring Materiality in Contemporary Japanese Photography after 3.11, photographies, Vol 14, Number 1, paper accepted for publication.

Bohr, Marco (2019), No Man’s Zone: The Essay Film in the Aftermath of the Tsunami in Japan. In: Hollweg, Brenda and Krstić, Igor (eds), World Cinema and the Essay Film: Transnational Perspectives on a Global Practice. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Bohr, Marco and Sliwinska, Basia (eds) (2018), The Evolution of the Image: Political Action and the Digital Self, London: Routledge.

Bohr, Marco (2016), Naoya Hatakeyama and the Photographic representation of Post-Tsunami Landscapes in Japan, Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Volume 3, Number 3, pp. 355-365.

Bohr, Marco (2015), Cinema of Emancipation and Zacharias Kunuk’s Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. In: MacKenzie, Scott and Westerståhl Stenport, Anna (eds), Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Press expertise

  • Photography
  • Japanese Visual Culture
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