Zen Foto Gallery is pleased to announce our fourth solo exhibition with Tamiko Nishimura from May 11 to June 16, 2018. In this exhibition, the gallery presents 15 vintage silver gelatin prints produced in 1979 by Nishimura, which will also be included in the accompanying photobook publication “My Journey (Ryojin)”.

“Ryojin” were selected from approximately 1,500 images taken from 1968 to 1980s. During the process, I feel as if the space and time I have lived through were rising around me like a haze.

I have always taken snapshots with my camera whether I am walking, on trains, buses or boats. It is a stance that has never changed in the past several decades.

I take photographs, load the film into a developing reel and develop the films in a deep tray as I hear the clattering sound. Then I print contact sheets, select the images and make prints from them. This practice has also never changed for decades. The images would slowly appear in the developer, and the black becomes denser. I like the time I spend in the dark room observing how the objects captured would appear during the development process.

As long as films are still available, I would continue taking photographs with film.

ーTamiko Nishimura

A limited-edition photography book “My Journey (Ryojin)” will be published by the gallery to accompany the exhibition. The book consists of 60 monochrome works selected from photographs taken between years 1968 to 1980s, including some unpublished works.

Artist Profile


Born in 1948 in Tokyo, Nishimura graduated from Tokyo Photography College (current Tokyo Visual Arts) in 1969. Her graduation work was a photography series of Jōkyō Gekijo (Situation Theatre), forefront of the underground theatre movement led by Jūrō Kara. After her graduation, she met Daido Moriyama, Kōji Taki and Takuma Nakahira, three highly influential members of the Provoke movement. She assisted them in the darkroom from time to time up between 1969 and 1970, while she continued her personal shooting on her travels. Later in 1973, Nishimura made her debut through the first publication “Shikishima” published by Tokyo Photography College, showcasing her photographs taken from 1969 to 1972 on her journeys around Japan including Hokkaidō, Tōhoku, Hokuriku, Kantō, Kansai and Chūgoku regions. She also began to travel to Southeastern Asia and Europe in the 1980s. Nishimura’s language of expression is poetic, spiritual and deeply personal. Looking back on her career, Nishimura describes it as a sequence of journeys, and she continued photographing with her nomadic lifestyle. Her photography, revealing what is beyond a journey, is a manifold portrait of life wherever she encounters.

Her main publications are “Shikishima” (Tokyo Photography College, 1973. Reprinted by Zen Foto Gallery in 2014), “vent calmoso” (Sokyu-sha, 2005), “Existence 1968-69” (graficamag, 2011), “Eternal Chase” (graficamag, 2012), “Kittenish...” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2015), “My Journey” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2018) and “Voyage” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2019), “My Journey II. 1968–1989“ (Zen Foto Gallery, 2019), and “My Journey III. 1993-2022“ (Zen Foto Gallery, 2022). Her works are included in the collection of M+ museum (Hong Kong).

Publications & Prints