Interview by Julian Lucas


Since her first solo show in 1996, Japanese photographer Keiko Nomura has been awarded several times and already has 7 published photo books. Evident in her photos through the years, we see a shift from dark to light. It is through the use of color that Keiko tells her stories. 

You studied photography in Los Angeles in the 90s. Based on your experience, what was Los Angeles like in comparison to Tokyo during that time?


You have 7 publications, your first was released in 1999 entitled Deep South and your most recent in 2016 entitled, "Drop of Light to Rushing Water". Of all of your photobooks, which one holds the most meaning to you and why?

やはりデビュ-作となる「Deep South」において、私は一人の写真家として認められ、世に出たことと、自分の作家性を確立した基礎となっているものなので、強いものではあると思います。しかし、常に新刊の写真集に、今の私の写真家としての意味は一番に あります。

In what ways has your work evolved from Deep South to Drop of Light to Rushing Water? In what ways has it remained the same?

撮る場所や内容や興味は、すべて変わってきていますが、わたしの文脈や制作方法はDEEP SOUTHからDrop of Light まではあまり変えていません。今後は少し変わっていくかもしれませんが。

Drop of Light.jpg


As an image, the body is a glass full of water, in it there is blood and soul. If the glass cracks or water spills, it will be invisible and can not be touched.

There was a time you transitioned from black and white snapshots to "serious photography". How did this transition come about?

Deep South からカラ-に代えたのですが、悩んだときに、アメリカのNew color の作家を勉強しなおしました。そして私の表現にも今は色が必要だと思い、写真の色についていろいろと勉強しなしおして、独自の色表現ができるように考えるようになりました。

Are the models within your body of work a reflection of yourself?

Yes, I think so.


I appreciate the way you present femininity in your photographs. Would you approach masculinity in the same way?

Photographer の仕事として男性もたくさん撮っていますが、作品で女性を撮るように男性にapprpachのは難しいです。なぜなら作品のモデルの女性とは深い関係性と信頼性の上で撮っているので、男性は異性なので、また違う関係性になると思います。ちなみに私はレズビアンでありませんが。

I can relate to the contrast of water and the body, which I feel holds a very powerful meaning.  In your latest photobook, Drop of Light to Rushing Water, there is an image of being submerged in water. Can you tell us about this image?



What is next for you?



All images ©Keiko Nomura, Courtesy of Keiko Nomura

Keiko Nomura - Drop of Light to Rushing Water | Purchase here