Hitoshi Nomura
Space-Time and Life: Signifying Conjecture and Manifestation

2021.3.23 [tue] - 4.17 [sat] 11:00-18:00(sat -17:00)*Closed on Sun, Mon and national holidays. *This exhibition changes some works during the exhibition period. Details will be announced on the gallery's website and SNS.

ARTCOURT Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Hitoshi Nomura, Space-Time and Life: Signifying Conjecture and Manifestation. Nomura’s first exhibition at our gallery in two years will be an opportunity to see ‘CMB’ score: 13.8 Billion years / Temperature Fluctuation, the newest addition to his series of musical score works, exhibited for the first time.

To Nomura, who uses his camera to capture the phases of matter that change with gravity and time while also viewing photography as major sculptural work since early in his career, his score series is one of his significant ongoing works that began at a turning point when he first turned his lens towards the heavenly bodies. Another “score” work, ‘moon’ score (1975), in which he used film with five lines copied onto them to shoot pictures of the moon at random, making it appear like musical notes, begins to sound like music made naturally when actually performed. With this discovery, Nomura deepened his interest in the origin of things, or the structures of the “genesis” of everyday phenomena, especially those that exist beyond people’s perception, thus expanding his work to cover themes from the origin of the universe to the birth of life on Earth.

‘CMB’ score: 13.8 Billion Years / Temperature Fluctuation, shown for the first time at this exhibition, tries to create musical scores out of electromagnetic wave readings coming from the areas of constellation coordinates selected from an all-space temperature map released in 2018, which is based on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) observed by the ESA’s probing satellite PLANCK. Cosmic microwave background, which decreased in temperature a while after the birth of the universe, refers to the electromagnetic waves originating from the moment the entire universe was filled with electromagnetic waves moving in straight lines, unobstructed by free electrons (the recombination of the universe), continues to reach the Earth from all directions in space and is said to be observable as extremely weak microwaves. Here, Nomura fills the exhibition space with sound extracted from the vast cosmic data contained within the oldest electromagnetic waves that can be observed today.

This exhibition features a series of glass works produced in the 1980s expressing in three-dimensions the internal structure of the origin of the universe; meteorites that flew from space onto the Earth and helped in the formation of RNA and DNA in organisms; stromatolite fossils which produced oxygen in the primeval Earth; and fossils of land vegetation that formed the basis of the ecosystem (all of which are being exhibited for the first time). Together, these different types of matter, existing here today through the eternal journey of space-time, tell the tale of the deep ties between the universe and life on Earth.
We will also exhibit a number of new works exuding an experimental spirit and brimming with humor that only Nomura could create, as an artist who translates the shapes of various phenomena that manifest in outer space into a form that is viewable up close, and produces work in a range of media such as 3D CG imaging, bronze, urushi.

ーーーIn a few decades, we will be able to inhabit space, living our everyday lives in an artificial environment, a fact that will have a powerful impact on our bodies and minds. We will very likely reconsider the meaning of “awe.” I think that people will undergo a fundamental change, and when this happens, art, rather than being limited, will expand; art will speak and inform us of human existence. (*)

After turning his lens towards the natural phenomena for over a half-century, Nomura’s gaze yet seeks out light that will be a signal for his expression, and continues to await the future.

*Hitoshi Nomura “Will Nature Reveal Its True Form Over Time?”, PERCEPTIONS–CHANGES IN TIME AND FIELD (2009, The National Art Center, Tokyo, p.14)

Related events

  • 2021.3.25 -
    *Part of the exhibited works has been changed.
    In the case there is inclement weather, we may remove works exhibited in the courtyard from view. We ask for your kind understanding.


Hitoshi Nomura