GALLERY

Haruko Nakamura

“ The Gift from the Sea ”

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2000Grand Prize

ARTIST STATEMENT

The Gift from the Sea

Late in the afternoon, I was looking up at the sky on the way home from shopping. The clouds moved slowly and changed their forms. It was like watching the inside of a womb. I have heard that the birth rate is high on days of a full moon. Does a full moon pull out babies? It is said that amniotic fluid and seawater are made up of similar constituents. I’m sure that the sea is inside me. As the expected date of birth approached, I had no doubt that I was a part of nature. I expressed an image that was formed through my experience of giving birth. I really wanted to take pictures of a new life coming out of my body, so I had my single-lens reflex camera on my chest when I started the labor. As my attention was entirely paid to taking pictures, the baby did not come out although I strained the muscles as hard as I could. As I reflected that the baby’s life was the most important, I tried to forget about the camera and put all my energies in giving birth. Finally the doctor said, “It’s coming out.” Although I had been struggling with enormous pain as if I was being struck with an ax from inside, I grabbed my camera and focused between my legs. I pressed the shutter to take pictures of the baby coming out. The film was used up by the time the whole body of the baby was out, and I shouted out to my husband, “Change the film!” and to the doctor, “Please stay there!”

Selecting judge: Nobuyoshi Araki

This is a very refined work, just like a graceful title “A Gift from the Sea.” They are elegant. I can feel how gracefully she is working with her camera. The pictures are full of a dramatic world created along with the clicking sounds of the shutter. The colors go to and fro between monochrome pictures and colored ones, and I was impressed with her ability. The technique of taking pictures with elegance, and her personality to get people involved in the situation are exceptionally good. Probably there will be a new era of taking pictures of grandparents and little kids. I like the picture showing a big belly best. In my case, I tie her up. That’s not good. (laugh)

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PROFILE

Haruko Nakamura

Photographer: 1962 - 2005

1984 Became a freelance photographer after graduating from the Department of Photography, College of Art, Nihon University, spent six months in Tanzania, Africa, covering stories about the local children
1993 Started photographing in Tuscany, Italy, inspired by the scenery of the region (began working on Hikari no Oto [The Sound of Light])
2000 Received an Excellence Award at the 21st New Cosmos of Photography (selected by Nobuyoshi Araki) and won the Grand Prize at the New Cosmos of Photography 2000 Exhibition
Received a New Artist Award at the Miyagi Prefecture Fine Arts Awards

Publications

  • Sekai-no-Kodomotachi Tanzania [Children of the World, Tanzania] (1989, Kaiseisha)
  • Hikari no Oto [The Sound of Light] (2008, Formare la luce)

Solo exhibitions

  • The Watoto [Children] of Sun and Wind (1991, L-Park Sendai, Miyagi)
  • Ine-san, Seller of Fish (1995, L-Park Sendai, Miyagi)
  • From the Sea (1999, Gallery Arata, Miyagi)
  • Hikari no Oto [The Sound of Light] New Cosmos of Photography solo exhibition (2001, Modapolitica Tokyo, Sendai Mediatheque, Kyoto Gallery Raku)
  • Hikari no Oto [The Sound of Light] - Simple & Pure (2008, TKG Daikanyama)
  • Hikari no Oto [The Sound of Light] (2009, Visual Arts Gallery Tokyo, Nagoya Visual Arts Gallery, Visual Arts Gallery Osaka)
  • Shiogama Art Weeks 2010 (2010, Fureai ESP Shiogama, Build Space, former Kamei estate)
  • Haruko Nakamura Exhibition: The Gift from the Sea (2013, Gallery Cominca, Shimaya, Naoshima)
  • The Gift from the Sea (2014, Abenoma, Osaka)

Group exhibitions

  • Photo Company Sendai Exhibition (1999, Luna Gallery, Miyagi)
  • Miyagi Excellent Works Museum Exhibition (1999, Aeru Citizen Gallery)
  • To the Next Real (2002, Tsuyama MokuMoku Land, Miyagi)
  • The Gift from the Sea at the Tenth Anniversary New Cosmos of Photography Exhibition (2002, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography)
  • Radiant Moments: The New Snapshot | Contemporary Japanese Photography, Vol. 9. (2010 – 2011, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography)
  • The Watoto [Children] of Sun and Wind (Ohara Break Summer 2015, Inawashirokohan)
  • Ine-san, Seller of Fish (Ohara Break Summer 2016, Inawashirokohan)

Events

  • Hikari no Oto [The Sound of Light]: Photographs and Singing, Hanaregumi x Haruko Nakamura (2011, Zepp Sendai, Ebisu Garden Hall)
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2000Grand Prize

Haruko Nakamura

The Gift from the Sea

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