a study of identity (2020)
Ryoichi Nakamura

Material: Photo emulsion on brass panel
Size: 5x7” (approx. 127x178mm)
Edition: Unique
Delivery: Worldwide Shipping

Taken from the artist’s extensive body of work, a study of identity, the title reflects both the artist’s journey over the course of creating these portraits and the public’s intended experience viewing the work.

Nakamura began this ongoing project in 2015 after receiving a grant from Japan’s Pola Art Foundation, which allowed him to travel to New York and Los Angeles, researching the concept and experimenting with a special method of photo emulsion onto brass, copper, and aluminum plate.

Since then, his work has been added to the collection of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, Washington), and he has created hundreds of small portraits.

Working with altered historical photographs, Nakamura’s work depicts portraits of Japanese immigrants to America and Japanese-Americans from the late 1800s through mid-1900s. Many of the subjects were sent to internment camps by the US Government during WWII. Although the artist worked from photographs for the series, he obscured the face in each new portrait to allow viewing the works with an introspective eye as the translation of emotions would not be possible if approached as pure documentary.