Residencies for Japanese and Polish female photographers
From 2021, with the support of the EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee, we are organising residencies for Japanese and Polish female photographers. These are to allow them to get to know the visited country and its culture, as well as local environments and communities, and to prepare a new photography book.
Last year, we hosted Keiko Nomura in Wrocław. Here, the artist worked on the concept for a new photography book, collected material, met with local artists and curators, and learned about the photography scene in our city and region. During the residency she participated in an artist talk and portfolio review. This year, the artist visited us for the second time to make additional sessions, as well as to make a selection of photographs for her book together with photographer and curator Łukasz Rusznica and designer Joanna Jopkiewicz.
Keiko Nomura was born in Hyogo. She graduated from the Visual Arts College in Osaka and studied photography in Los Angeles and Santa Fe. Her photography book ‘Deep South’ (1999) captures her roots of Okinawa and has attracted much attention due to its unique use of colour and rich emotionality. Since the publication of this book, women and water have been leading themes in the photographer’s guiding theme of life. As she describes, her work is an exploration of the infinite cycle of life, its essence beyond time and space, and the life-giving circulation of water and the journey of souls. Nomura is the author of eight photography books. Her work has been exhibited in more than 40 solo exhibitions. She received the Newcomer’s Award from the Photographic Society of Japan in 1999, the New Photographer Award at the 16th Higashaikawa International Photography Festival in 2000 and the Tadahiko Hayashi Award in 2019. The artist currently resides in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
The second participant in the exchange is Aleksandra Nowysz, who was born in Wrocław. An architect and photographer, she is a researcher of urban agriculture architecture. She currently works as an assistant professor in the Department of Architecture and Revitalisation at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. In 2019, she received her PhD in the discipline of Architecture and Urban Planning from Wrocław University of Technology. She also studied at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava. Graduate of the Sputnik Photos Mentorship Programme. Winner of the Wrocław Jerzy Grotowski Scholarship in the field of art. Author of photographic projects on vernacular architecture and landscape. Her works have been exhibited, among others, at the BWA Wrocław Galleries of Contemporary Art and the Photon gallery in Vienna and Ljubljana.
During her residency in Okinawa, Aleksandra Nowysh intends to realise a photographic project about how the apparatus of military power transforms the landscape and environment. The artist is interested in the issue of colonialism, including its elements such as violence, domination and exploitation against people and nature. The trip to Okinawa also prompted her to look at the subject of political geography. To exercise decolonising thinking and, translated into the language of photography, to imagine and visualise our need to see the world from a different point of view. By proposing to take the island’s perspective, Nowysz plans to give it the opportunity to reveal itself and represent what it sees.
The residencies are organised by BWA Wrocław Galleries of Contemporary Art with the support of the EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee. Aleksandra Nowysz’s residency was supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the ‘Polish Culture Around the World’ programme.