Hitoshi Nomura

This artist's profile and the listed artworks have been verified and approved by Fergus McCaffrey

Born in 1945 in Hyogo Prefecture, Hitoshi Nomura is a prominent Japanese contemporary artist. While initially trained in sculpture, his artistic practice has evolved to explore ephemeral, process-based, and conceptual forms of artwork. Throughout his life, Nomura consistently centered his creative endeavors around the concept of time and its interconnected dynamics of transformation, encompassing themes such as deterioration, evaporation, and fusion.

Alongside fellow artists Robert Smithson, Chris Burden, and Gordon Matta-Clark, Nomura played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the incorporation of photography to document the transient and process-driven artworks of the late 1960s and early 1970s. 

Hitoshi Nomura's biography

Hitoshi Nomura was born in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, in 1945. In 1967, he completed his BFA from Kyoto City University of Arts, specializing in sculpture.

His early works, including "Tardiology" (1968–69), departed from an emphasis on the object itself and instead focused on exploring time's passage, the fundamentals of matter, and the rhythms of the universe. A process-oriented practice defined by persistence and repetition over extended periods emerged as a central characteristic of his artistic approach.

Nomura also experimented with films and sound pieces, employing unconventional materials such as oxygen and dry ice associated more with science rather than art. In series such as "Moon" score" (1975–) and "Earth Rotation" (1978–79), he used cameras, sophisticated telescopes, and computers to unveil sinuous lines that documented the flow of time and the celestial movements of stars and planets. 

In 1980, Nomura began capturing daytime exposures that tracked the sun's trajectory across the sky, revealing the contrasting concave and convex lines that evolve throughout the year. The "Analemma" series exemplifies this phenomenon, serving as a symbol of endless recycling and regeneration. In addition to his solar interest, Nomura has spent the last two decades collecting asteroids and engaging in the construction and racing of solar-powered cars since 1993.

The art style of Hitoshi Nomura

Nomura's art provokes a sense of wonder, inviting viewers to reconsider their perception of the world and their own existence within it. Through his installations, he creates immersive environments that interact with natural or urban spaces, allowing the passage of time to affect and transform the artworks themselves.

Photography plays a crucial role in Nomura's practice, serving as a means of documenting the temporal aspects of his installations. He captures the gradual decomposition and evolution of his works, showcasing his interest in the passage of time, impermanence, and the cyclical rhythms of existence.

He also experiments with recording sounds and voices, creating immersive soundscapes that enhance the viewer's experience and deepen their engagement with his installations.