The exhibition is of photographs taken in 1979-81 of the dancer Konohana-no-Sakuya-hime. I first met Sakuya-hime in Tokyo's inokashira Park in 1979. She would dance in the quiet woods of the park every Saturday, wearing a gaudy kimono, with white make-up and her black hair flailing as she danced.

Her dance was not pre-determined. Abandoning herself, she became a possessed shaman. Her dance led the watcher into another dimension.

In 1980, seeking the origin of the sacred Shinto music, she embarked with her two small children on a pilgrimage throughout Japan, and dedicated her dance to various shrines along her way.

Spring in Asama Shrine, Fuji Yoshida, early summer in Suwa Taisha's Onbashira Festival, high summer in Ohara, Kyoto, Nara Tenri, the cluster amaryllis of Nara's Katsuragi Kaze-no-mori, Hotaka Shrine in the snow. I remember being at one with the dance at these places through the seasons.

ーTamiko Nishimura

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