The Domestic Photographer Award
Reason for award
For her exhibitions, “And a Pinch of Irony with a Hint of Love” (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, 2017), “To Create, To Bring Up… as a Mother, as an Artist / Yurie Nagashima” (Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo, 2018), and her book, “The Flower Named in an Unknown Word / The Landscape Not in My Memory / The Book that Can Not Be Read by My Fingers” (Yokohama Civic Art Gallery Azamino, 2019), as well as related works.
Born in Tokyo in 1973. Received PARCO Prize in URBANART #2 for her and her family portrait in the nude while at Department of Visual Communication Design, Musashino Art University. Gained attention as a photographer forerunning the “GirlsPhotography” trend in the 1990s. Finding a disparity between the media reputation focusing her nude and femininity and her practice as an artist, she went to the United States and received a MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Received the 26th Kimura Ihei Award for photography book “Pastime Paradise” (Madora Publishing Co. Ltd, 2001). Studied feminism at Masters degree in arts and science at Musashi University since 2011 and finished in 2015. Published “from their Girls Photography to our Girly Photography” (Daifuku Shorin) in 2020 based on her master’s thesis critically reviewing and reevaluating the “Girls Photography” connected to the global feminism and art trend.
In the solo exhibition “And a Pinch of Irony with a Hint of Love” (Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, 2017), she presented an installation focusing on a woman’s life course as well as her earlier representative self-portraits and her family series. In the exhibition “To Create, To Bring Up… as a Mother, as an Artist / Yurie Nagashima” (Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo, 2018), she showed several series including her son’s childhood photographs. “About HOME” series questions the creating act for women who have always been tied to women’s roles as well as the works with the theme of “one-thousand stitches” women collected for their family during the World WarⅡ.
In “The Flower Named in an Unknown Word / The Landscape Not in My Memory / The Book that Can Not Be Read by My Fingers” (Yokohama Civic Art Gallery Azamino, 2019), with the inspirations she got from the dialogue with a totally blind person, she exhibited photographs which question the relationship between photographs, texts and memories. Keeps producing works which delve into the uneasiness of the society and how women are with the clue of the relationships of her families and people she is familiar with.
While I gained many important things from holding solo and two person exhibitions in succession for three and a half years from 2016, I had to face the reality that I was living on the edge in poverty. I hoped to continue my career as artist as something beyond just self satisfaction, but there were many days where I realized that my work and myself had no value because I could not be financially independent. After knowing that I had won a Higashikawa Award, it felt like a sign that it was okay to believe in myself and continue ahead, and I felt encouraged. I would like to thank all of those who took the time to look at my unskillful work.
What kind of statement can reflect what “art” is? How can we create a standard that shows if “value” exists or not? This is something that I have constantly pursued in the 30 years since I started photography. Through my distrust of “Girls Photography,” I came to know about social constructivism. Keeping the principle of “the personal is political” close to my heart, I hope to continue to live and make art without quitting.