WMU News

Nakagawa photography exhibit opens March 5

Feb. 19, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Osamu James Nakagawa is exhibiting photographs from his "Kai and Billboard Series" in Gallery II of Sangren Hall at Western Michigan University from March 5 through 20. Gallery II is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Admission to the exhibition is free and open to the public.

Nakagawa will visit campus March 5 and 6 to talk about his work and judge the awards for the 2001 Annual WMU Art Student Exhibition. He will give a slide lecture on his photography on Monday, March 5, at 1 p.m. in Room 1213, Sangren Hall, and will attend a reception in Gallery II following the lecture. As the awards judge for the 2001 WMU Annual Art Student Exhibition, he will speak at a seminar with the students on Tuesday, March 6, in the Dalton Center Multi-Media Room.

His visit, lecture and exhibition are sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr./Cesar Chavez/Rosa Parks Visiting Professors Program. The public is invited to all events and the lecture hall and gallery are handicapped accessible. For more information, please contact the Department of Art Exhibitions Office at 616 387-2455.

About the artist

Osamu James Nakagawa is an assistant professor of art at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a Japanese American, who was born in New York City, but grew-up in Tokyo. At the age of 15, his family moved to the United States and he attended high school in Houston. Later on his parents returned to Japan, while he stayed to continue his education. He earned a B.A. in 1986 from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and an M.F.A. in 1993 from the University of Houston.

Nakagawa creates photographic montages that juxtapose objects with unexpected contexts. The artist's goals are to explore, compare and contrast various cultural phenomenon as they relate to his own life. His work is personal, being based upon his own life's experiences, yet also global, since it deals with questions involving the human condition. His latest series, "Kai," was inspired by the ironies in his own life. At the same time that he was grieving for his father who was dying of cancer, he was celebrating the birth of his daughter. The experience led him to explore the circular nature of life, and how death and birth can occur simultaneously.

Nakagawa actively exhibits nationally and internationally. This year began with a January solo show in New York City at Sepia International Inc. Last year, he exhibited the "Kai" series in a solo show at Fotofest in Houson. His work was in the 1998-2000 traveling show, Artistic Centers in Texas: Houston/Galveston; the "Cuenca Ecuador Bienal '98"; "Medialoge-Photography in Contemporary Art '98," Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; and "Field of Vision: Five Gulf Coast Photographers," the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, 1998. Nakagawa has received grants and fellowships from the Houston Center for Photography; the American Photography Institute; Tisch School of Arts, New York City; and Cultural Arts of Houston/Harris County. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi; and the University of Houston. He is represented by McMurtrey Gallery in Houston.

Media contact: Jackie Ruttinger, 616 387-4678, jacquelyn.ruttinger@wmich.edu

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