Zai Nomura 

Born in Japan / Lives and works in New York



"Something right before vanishing or remain just after the disappearance, or the ambiguous boundary between them both."


Since I was born, I have been hospitalized back and forth with my natural-born cancer condition. So I had felt that my inner world and the external real world were very distant. And in my quiet inner place, my older sister Keiko had been there, who had a physical disability of Dwarfism, but she was my best friend and teacher all the time. 

However, when I was 14, my beloved Keiko died around the time of a great earthquake, and the real brutal outside world suddenly flowed into my inner world immediately, and both sides turned over as a Tsunami does. 

Since then, for a hollow of my youth, I became extremely fascinated by"death", which turned into the substituted boundary between the outside and my inner world. I came to feel that "death" is the only thing that connects me to her and the outside world, which was all my reality. Only when I felt her death, I could feel alive, for a long time.  That was like the desperate struggle and screams and crying of a boy drowning in the water, which doesn't reach anybody at all outside of the quiet water surface. Afterward, these feelings and experiences started to trigger me to create something, something like art pieces.

So if  I can name these things that I have attempted to capture, that is something strong before the vanishing, or, remains just after the disappearance, or something going back and forth on just an ambiguous border between the both.


Education ​

2010-2013  Ph.D. at Musashino Art University
2007-2009  MFA  at Goldsmiths University of London    

Residencies and Awards

2021 Arte Laguna Prize, Venice, Italy

2019-20  International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), Brooklyn, NY
2019-20  The Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs Grant, Tokyo, Japan
2016  Lagos Art, Private Artist’s Residency, Hamburg, Germany
2013  MMM First Prize
2005  Musashino Art University, Laboratory Prize

Selected Exhibitions

2022 "Séance Fiction", NY, USA 

2021  Ulterior Gallery, "Echoes" Solo exhibition, NY, USA
2020  "333", Japan Society Gallery, NY, USA
2019  "IHI Innovation center", permanent installation, Yokohama, Japan
2018  "MMM-10th annual exhibition", Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan
2018  "Mirror Behind Hole ‒ Photography into Sculpture"  Curated by Yuri Mitsuda, at gallery αM, Tokyo, Japan
2017  "can't rewind it", solo exhibition at Soh Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2016  Hamburg Private Residency, Hamburg, Germany
2016  Aichi International Triennale
2016 ”Rainbow Caravan”,  Okazaki, Japan
2015  "Mortal" as Continuous Temporality Vol2 at COEXIT-Tokyo Gallery with Yosuke Bandai and Mari Katayama, Tokyo, Japan
2015  "Color (Non-allegiance) Silhouette" at Soh Gallery with Manami Seki and Takahiro Kamimura, Tokyo, Japan
2014  "Accumulation 1", Solo exhibition at Soh Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2014  "MMM: Minato-Media-Art Museum" at MMM, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan
2014  "Continuous Temporality" Duo exhibition with Takaaki Akaishi at COEXIST-Tokyo gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2014  "Dynamics of expression" Group exhibition at Harmas Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2013  “Taipei Art Fair”, Taipei, Taiwan
2013  “additional fugitive” Solo exhibition at Harmas Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2013  “The Dry Land” Solo exhibition at gFAL, Tokyo, Japan
2012  “Galley x Hikarie” Group exhibition at Shibuya Hikarie 8, Tokyo, Japan
2011  “ULTRA03” Group exhibition at Aoyama Spiral, Tokyo, Japan
2011  “Art Court Frontier 2011” Group exhibition at Art Court Gallery, Osaka, Japan
2010  “Zai Nomura Solo exhibition” at Harmas Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2010  “Beyond the Transform” Solo exhibition at gFAL, Tokyo, Japan
2009  “GROUP/GROPE” Group exhibition at Area 10, London, UK
2007  “10th Istanbul Biennale-MULTIPLE INTIMACY” Group exhibition at Osham Hamdy Bey Hall, Istanbul, Turkey
2007  “The Fall-In-Theatre Interim” Group exhibition at Ashwin Street Gallery, London, UK
2006  “Sevrin Contemporary Art Exhibition” Group exhibition at Sevrin Contemporary Art Museum, Romania ​

Public Collection ​

RICOH, 3L building, Tokyo, Japan
The Beige, Siem Reap, Cambodia
IHI Innovation Centre, Kanagawa, Japan