The Art of Photography

by Japanese artist and photographer Yoichiro Nishimura


March 7 to April 27, 2019
Hong Kong

After studying Photography in the Bigakko School of Arts, Yoichiro Nishimura expressed an interest in taking photographs of his surroundings and with the influence of the two admired Japanese photographers Takuma Nakahira and Daido Moriyama, it has since then, become the focal point of his lenses. For the Hong Kong debut of “Yoichiro Nishimura – The Art of Photography”, the artist has carefully curated a selection of photographs from his two catalogue raisonné – “Life” and “Blue Flower” published in 1999 and 2016, respectively.
 
In his “Life” series, artist Yoichiro Nishimura has done years of experiment, capturing the beauty of his own ‘Ikebana’: the Japanese art of flower arrangement. The format which the artist employs expresses the flowers’ elegance, one of the two translations in Japanese Kanji characters for the word flower (華). On a dark setting, the flowers are photographed under natural light using a Hasselblad camera, a snapshot where his emotions and values resonate describing the balance between life and death, light and dark, and the Chinese principle of yin and yang. For Nishimura, the latest technology is secondary, it is only the artistic expression of his own inspiration.
 
Nishimura’s award-winning “Blue Flower” series is an eight-year abstract of his daily encounters. With a career spanning over three decades, Nishimura invented a new photographic technique called ‘Scangram’. Inspired by Man Ray’s photogram, an old and classic shooting technique in which the subject is placed on chemically treated paper and exposed to a light without using a camera resulting to a monochrome image, Nishimura’s Scangram technique creates a luminous negative digital version of photogram. The visual reversed effect adds a mystic silhouette as if the image is captured under a moonlight. Nishimura sometimes describes his “Blue Flower” series as “flowers of the shadow” and is popular among his followers and collectors both in the East and West. Nishimura’s Blue Flower photo-catalogue is featured and available at Hermes in Paris, France.

Renowned Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama has described Nishimura’s works “as if there is a dream-like atmosphere surrounding the world of images created by the artista dream subtly cool, erotic and mysterious.” To quote:

“In the middle of the night, as I turn off the light and close my eyes, there appear spectacles of various lights glowing like phosphorescence in the back of the eyelids, slowly flowing across the retina. Whenever my senses experience this indefinable transition of light, I find myself immersed in Nishimura’s visions.  A journey into a sensual, alluring world of the microcosms “Blue Flower” is a sublimation of Nishimura’s creative sensitivity.”
 - Daido Moriyama on Yoichiro Nishimura’s Blue Flower
 
Born in 1967 in Tokyo, Japan, Yoichiro Nishimura received his Photography course at Bigakko, an alternative School of Art in Japan. The artist has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions throughout Japan, the Netherlands, and France. Nishimura has recently won Gold Prize for his “Blue Flower” photo-catalogue in Japan, among other awards he received throughout his career. Nishimura’s works can be found in the collections of Daido Moriyama, K’MoPa Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, and Zen Foto. The artist lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.