About the Photographer
American, b. 1962 Japan
As a series the work conveys my sense of traverse Ma crossing over the gaps that exist between here and there, now and then, triggering one to visualize their own past. —James Nakagawa
The central photograph in James Nakagawa's Departure is of his grandfather's 1928 departure to Europe, while the strips of overlaid 8mm film come from his father's 1959 home movie of a family trip to upstate New York. Both elements were part of the contents from a memory box that Nakagawa received shortly before his father died in Tokyo. Nakagawa adds a third picture-technology to the still photograph and the motion picture by layering and juxtaposing them digitally. The final synthesis articulates his questions about memory and transition, movement across land and across generations — ruminations no doubt heightened by the birth of his daughter just a few months before his father's passing.
Osamu James Nakagawa was born in New York City on June 3, 1962. Seven months later his Japanese-born parents took him to Japan, where the family would live for 15 years before settling in Houston (his parents returned to Japan once Nakagawa finished high school). He holds a BA in studio art from the University of St. Thomas Houston (1986) and an MFA in photography from the University of Houston (1993). His work has been shown in exhibitions including Ma - between the past at McMurtrey Gallery, Houston; Kai: Osamu James Nakagawa at SEPIA International, New York; Cuenca, Ecudor Bienal: Borderline Figuration; and Medialogue-Photography in Contemporary Art '98, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. He has been a Light Work Artist-in-Residence and the recipient of an Indiana Arts Commission grant. Nakagawa is an assistant professor of photography at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Tucker, Anne Wilkes. Contact Sheet: The Light Work Annual 2003 30th Anniversary. No. 122. p. 46-51.