Masayo Nishimura “Crossing the Road”

Ceres Gallery

poster for Masayo Nishimura “Crossing the Road”
[Image: Masayo Nishimura "The Crossing at Noon - Tokyo, June 2014 #1" 33.5 x 25 in. Digital C-print]

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Ceres Gallery presents Masayo Nishimura’s Crossing the Road, a solo exhibition of Nishimura’s photographs and related videos.

This exhibition features Nishimura’s sequential series of color photographs, featuring pedestrians scattered on Tokyo’s busy business streets during the brief transition of the traffic signal change from green to red. Her consecutive shots and paused frames curiously capture a “time-based march” of the pedestrian at city crosswalks, amidst the vehicular traffic under Tokyo’s urban backdrop.

At first glance, Nishimura’s people seem frozen and robotically detached from each other. However, on closer inspection, these paused frames reveal various engaging facial and physical expressions on the move, telling us individual stories behind each person’s life. Simultaneously, the pedestrians seem to blend well as a group during the short period while crossing the roads, co-creating the mass human current unknowingly. In a variety of the images, the movements almost seem inspired by a well-choreographed stage sequence.

As in her previous work, including of the New York City subway, Nishimura captures these images casually and spontaneously: a distant observer who does not interact with her subjects. These everyday scenes transform themselves into a unique expression and unexpectedly tell stories by themselves, revealing Nishimura’s ability to uncover the unseen in city life.

* All the shots are taken handheld with a 120 mm film camera and digitally C-printed on Fuji paper.

Masayo Nishimura is a native of Osaka, Japan. In1993, she began her study of photography at Hunter College, City University of New York under Professor Mark Feldstein where she discovered her interest in New York City subway stations. Since then, her subway-themed photography has been exhibited in various galleries around New York City. In 1999, while continuing her study of photography, she also completed her MFA in Computer Art. Her thesis film, the animated “Dream”—a subway love story—has been screened worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art as an official selection of the New Directors/New Films Festival, sponsored by the Cinema Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA.

In 2000, she started working on a series of color photographs engaging the light and shadows created by subway architecture. This work, entitled Uptown Bound, was first exhibited in September 2001 in New York City and has received enthusiastic responses from viewers. Since 2008, she has often returned to her native Japan and captured everyday scenes in the Tokyo subways and streets. These works were first exhibited in 2011, in Recollections: From New York to Tokyo. This show revealed the transformation of an everyday scene into a unique window onto city life that unexpectedly told a story.

In 2012, she traveled to the northern Pacific coast of Japan and documented the aftermath of tsunami-hit towns. This work, The New Horizon - Scenes in northern Japan nearly two years after the disaster, was exhibited in 2014. She also documented the many faces of her hometown - Senri New Town, an aging “model city” located just north of Osaka City. This work, entitled My old ‘New Town’ – Recollections Vol.3, was first exhibited in 2016. Currently she lives and works in New York City.



from June 22, 2021 to July 17, 2021

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