What can we do through photography? What is possible only through photography?


Co-Grand Prize Winner 2007

Daisuke Nakashima



-Please tell me about your prize-winning work.

It is composed only of photos of my friends and scenes familiar to me, but they are not snapshots. As I photographed them after I had pictured in my mind the scenes that I wanted to see, you can say that the photos were set up carefully. What I tried to photograph is something like the differences between what I remember and what others remember, or the gap in the rhythm of life between myself and others. I really want to feel it by taking photos together. When I was a college student, I began to take photographs. After graduation, I entered a vocational school for photography. From the beginning until now, the way I take a photo hasn’t changed.

-What made you enter the competition?

I chose photography because I want to carry through what I want to do. If that is my resolution, I want to show my photos to many people as well as to extend their potential. To achieve my aim, I thought it would be a good idea to participate in a competition. I decided to win a prize within one year without fail. So, after completing my graduate production, I concentrated on taking pictures for my entry. In the end, I made a book in which half the content were photos I had accumulated over two years in my school days, and the other half were photos I took over about two months just before graduation. That’s the work I submitted.

-Did you successfully deal with the display and the selection open-committee meeting?

I was worried about how I should deal with the exhibition. I planned to make each photo as large as possible. I wanted to make a figure life-sized. Actually it was not possible, but the space was high enough, so I put photos on the upper wall too. I had the lighting strong around the middle so that the photos gradually passed out of sight towards the corners. Because the central theme of my work is “memory,” I tried to give the effect that memories gradually faded.
I’m really happy that I could have the exhibition. I got a lot of opinions from people I didn’t know, and each response was so refreshing to me. If I held a solo exhibition on a personal level, I don’t think I would be able to draw that many people. It was really a good opportunity.
At the selection open-committee meeting, I could say properly what I wanted to say. Kotaro Iizawa and Koo Bohnchang, who selected my work, said that I already have my own style. I’m pleased with their comments. On the other hand, I understood that I was being given a warning about sticking to a style as a young person. I’m afraid that I was too eager or in a hurry. I must be careful about that.

-What is your plan for the future?

It was my first priority this year to win a prize at a public competition. Now that it’s been achieved, I have reaffirmed my determination to earn my living from photography. From now on, I’d like to compile a photo book as well as work as a photographer. In my case, I often take pictures of my friends and people close to me. If I worked as a photographer, I’d be interested to take photos of people I don’t know. I’m curious about how my photos would turn out.

-Who is your favorite artist or photographer?

Ryan McGinley(*1) of the United States, and Taisuke Koyama(*2). It’s hard to explain, but I see now in their photos. It’s often said that I’m influenced by Wolfgang Tillmans(*3). I don’t think my photos show his sparkling world, but I like his display very much. Though each piece is a photo, the impression of the whole display is one of contemporary art, which is nice.

*1 : Ryan McGinley
Born in the United States in 1977, McGinley is a New York-based photographer. His photos are known to be of people around him or simply arranged scenes. He holds solo exhibitions not only in the United States but also in different places in Europe.

*2 : Taisuke Koyama
Born in Tokyo in 1978. Many of his works are close-ups of a subject photographed with a digital camera. He publishes his works in different magazines, and often participates in group exhibitions.

*3 : Wolfgang Tillmans
Born in Germany in 1968. Based in London, he has been working actively. His approach of freely arranging pictures of scenes cut off from everyday life is highly evaluated in the world of contemporary art as well. He won the Turner Prize in 2000.


Daisuke Nakashima
July 14, 1983: Born in Osaka Prefecture
March 2006: Graduated with a degree in industrial psychology from Kansai University, Faculty of Sociology
July 2006: Won Judge’s Special Prize in the Mio Photo Awards (selecting judge: Michiko Kasahara, Chief Curator, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography)
2007: Completes a night-school course in photography at Visual Arts College Osaka
Web site: http://www.daisukenakashima.com/