GALLERY

Tomomichi Nakamura

“ Like Ants ”

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2019Grand Prize

ARTIST STATEMENT

Like Ants

While making a video work, my father became totally paralyzed from a brain stem infarction. For four years he fought his illness, but because of my work commitments, I wasn't able to do much up until the very end of his life.
After his passing, I, too, suffered a liver failure and depression from overwork and led a life battling an assortment of other ailments.
This work is my awakening to the state I'm currently in. I had been an animator, but I was incapable of working because multiple health issues made it impossible to draw. So I turned my ideas into a work of photography. I decided to make a work in some form or other. And this is it — a video work that does not move, with an image formed by multiple photographs.
The steel frames reinforce the image.
Black clothes are the clothes of a funeral, but I found this modality of black clothes to be like ants.

Entries form: Twenty-one still images, Five plywood sheets (455 x 600 mm), oil paint, steel sixteen photos

Selecting judge: Rineke Dijkstra

In Tomomochi Nakamura's series “Like Ants” there's a constant interchange between reality and fiction. As a child Nakamura played with insects and mistreated ants in his games – just like many children of his ages – by cutting them in half. Now, as his father is on his deathbed, Nakamura feels the same powerlessness as the ants must have felt, back in the days. A strong feeling of anxiety and impotence comes over him and that is precisely what he wants to show in “Like Ants.” His grief becomes too strong and he feels like he's being overrun. With great sensitivity Tomomochi Nakamura documents his father's sickbed and the dying process – at the same time he fabricates huge collages of ants. This way, he beautifully expresses his emotions, which are complex, oppressive and melancholic at the same time.

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PROFILE

Tomomichi Nakamura

1972Born in Okayama
2007 “My Town” Honorable mention at the Image Forum Festival and an official invitation to the Vancouver International Film Festival
2009 “Ants” Screened at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen international competitions, the Centre Pompidou, the Museo Reina Sofía, and other prestigious venues
2015 “Tenshi Modoki” Screened at the Tampere Film Festival and won a semi-finalist award at the Okayama Arts and Culture Awards
2017 Honorable mention at the Fukutake Cultural Awards
Received numerous other awards and screenings at home and abroad
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2019Grand Prize

Tomomichi Nakamura

Like Ants

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