Born in Tokyo, OKABE was co-curator of The Japanese Avant-Gardes 1910-1970 exhibition at the National Modern Art Museum of Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, 1986-87, and Lecturer on Non-Occidental Art History at École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, 1993-95. She was a professor of Art History and Museum Studies at Musashino Art University, 1999-2011, and a visiting scholar at New York University, 2006-07. She launched the Hanshin Art Project af ter the Hanshin-Awaji Ear thquake of 1995, as well as the Georges Rousse Art Project in Miyagi in 2013 after the Great Earthquake in Tohoku. She founded the Culture Power website for interaction with supporters of contemporary art. She is an advisor to the Shiseido Gallery. Her written works include Art Seed: Art Documentary Films on the Pompidou Center Collection and Art, Women, Image. She also directed the video Atsuko Tanaka: Another Gutai.