Tomonari Nishikawa


Tomonari Nishikawa (Japan/USA) was born in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in 1969. He studied economics in Japan, but quickly became disenchanted, finding himself increasingly enthralled by European cinema, and the films of Shuji Terayama and Toshio Matsumoto. In 1999 he immigrated to the United States with the goal of becoming a filmmaker, and began studying cinema and philosophy at SUNY Binghamton in 2001 as a student of Ken Jacobs, Julie Murray, and Vincent Grenier. He later received his MFA in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute, studying under Ernie Gehr. Nishikawa has completed nearly 20 films since 2003, which have screened at film festivals and museums internationally, including the Berlinale, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, London, Singapore, and Toronto International Film Festivals, New York Film Festival, MoMA P.S.1, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and many editions of Media City Film Festival. Nishikawa was a recipient of the Nippon Foundation Fellowship to research experimental film/video in Southeast Asia. He is a co-founders of KLEX: Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film and Video Festival and Transient Visions: Festival of the Moving Image (New York). He lives between Japan and the USA, and currently teaches in the Cinema Department at Binghamton University.      



FILMS IN THIS PROGRAM: Shibuya-Tokyo, 10 min, 2010

Shibuya-Tokyo, 10 min, 2010

As a sequel to Tokyo-Ebisu, this film shows the views around the exits of 20 stations in JR Yamanote Line, from Shibuya Station to Tokyo Station clockwise.

Tomonari Nishikawa has emerged in the last 15 years as one of the most precise and beguiling avant-garde filmmakers working today. – BAM 

Tomonari Nishikawa’s films are meticulously crafted containers for the uncontainable. Distinguished by their intricate and mesmerizing imagery, his films are based on complex formulas that Nishikawa develops to guide his production practices, which — when followed in the manner of a script or a score — result in densely patterned compositions and sequences that reflect the artist’s deep commitment to aesthetic order. Yet Nishikawa executes these formulas in environments that are brimming with variables. Shot in a variety of public spaces devoted to transit, leisure, commerce, and ritual, his films document the quotidian movements and occurrences that animate these environments, registering the ordinary unpredictability of the world. His work is both rigorous and playful, staggering and thrilling, a cinema of structure that is also a cinema beyond control. – Josh Guilford

All stills, photographs, and artwork courtesy Canyon Cinema and ©Tomonari Nishikawa. Screening co-presented with Canyon Cinema.