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b. 1976, Japan

Nobuhiro Nakanishi Biography

Nobuhiro Nakanishi is a Japanese artist known for his immersive installations that capture the passage of time by combining photography, sculpture, and prolonged observation.

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Early Years

Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Nakanishi studied sculpture at Tokyo Zokei University and Kyoto City University of Art, where he graduated with an MA in 2002.

Nobuhiro Nakanishi Artworks

Nobuhiro Nakanishi's installations are marked by prolonged periods of observation, with nature being an ongoing subject, followed by a process in which landscapes and the passage of time are adapted to convey the indeterminacy of human perception.

Sculptural Images

Nakanishi's installations forgo traditional subjects and materials to render the abstract and the ephemeral through serialised images on plexiglass panels, commonly exploring absence, spatial-temporal perception, and sensory experience.

Often produced as series, the artist's works combine individual images together to express abstract and momentary experiences, like the sunset or the physical encounter with nature.

Layered Drawings

Amongst them, Nakanishi's 'Layered Drawings' are made by photographing environments for long periods of time and chronologically arranging the images on acrylic panels to recreate temporal progressions, with minor variations from one frame to the next.

An eerie scene, the suspended landscape in The Tactual Sky (2013) follows the trajectory of a sunrise along a mountainous horizon across 50 acrylic sheets hung from the gallery ceiling in a circle.

Likewise, Nakanishi's commission for La Prairie, Echo of Time (2020), captures peaks of the Swiss Alps at twilight to show the passage of time, while allowing for one to zoom in on individual moments.

As the artist suggests, time has 'no shape or boundary' and is experienced differently from person to person. In the gaps between Nakanishi's images, viewers are called to draw from personal experience to add their perspective to the artist's documentation.

Stripe Drawings

The 'Stripe Drawings' series seeks to depict landscapes in which contours, distances, and physical boundaries dissolve, akin to the miniature worlds one would see through a microscope, in a landscape covered in fog, or an imaginary universe.

Made from countless fine pencil lines produced at set intervals, lines and spaces create shapes that appear to encroach on one another, yet coexist on the same plane, as with Stripe Drawing – Eclipse 3 (2013).

Likewise inspired by the Swiss Alps, the installation Eternal Circle (2020) consists of 60 stripe drawings, which when aligned total at 24 metres in reference to the hours in a day. Installed in a loop, the collaboration with musician Max Richter for La Prairie hints at the eternal flow between past, present, and future.

Nakanishi suggests that looking at the lines reproduces the artist's 'physical experience' during the free-hand drawing process, thus connecting viewers and artwork.


Nobuhiro Nakanishi has been the subject of both solo and group exhibitions.

Solo exhibitions include Gunma Museum of Art (2016); Yumiko Chiba Associates, Tokyo (2015); Kashya Hilderbrand, London (2014); Joyce Gallery, Beijing (2013); Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (2011); Gallery Nomart, Osaka (2010); and Osaka Contemporary Art Center (2006).

Group exhibitions include Asia Culture Center, Gwangju (2015); Art Stage Singapore (2014); Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi (2012); The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama (2011); 7th International Ink Painting Biennial, Shenzhen (2010); Hangaram Arts Center Museum, Seoul (2009); and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2007).


Nobuhiro Nakanishi's website can be found here.

Elaine YJ Zheng | Ocula | 2022

Nobuhiro Nakanishi Featured Artworks

Stripe Drawing-Eclipse 3 by Nobuhiro Nakanishi contemporary artwork works on paper
Nobuhiro Nakanishi Stripe Drawing-Eclipse 3, 2013 Pencil on paper
63.5 x 91.5 cm
Yumiko Chiba Associates Contact Gallery

Nobuhiro Nakanishi Represented By

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