Whitestone Gallery Taipei is honored to present the solo exhibition by Japanese artist Yoshiaki NAKAMURA titled "Sound Borders," showcasing several recent works by the artist. As a hearing-impaired individual, Nakamura has been focusing on exploring auditory and visual experiences, repeatedly questioning the boundaries and limitations of communication through his artistic practice. Nakamura applies the concept of Relational Aesthetics, representing the world he experiences through his works. By juxtaposing viewers’ experience in his artworks, Nakamura explores possibilities beyond the "limits of communication." The artist also brings up the idea of “Cyborg” in his art, conveying his unique worldview shaped by his life experiences. "Sound Borders" will be on view from July 13 (Sat.) to August 24 (Sat.), with the opening reception scheduled for July 13 (Sat.) at 4:00 pm where the artist will be present.

Yoshiaki Nakamura was born in Tokyo, Japan. He completed his PhD in Japanese painting at Tokyo University of the Arts in 2015 and his MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2020. Due to a hearing impairment, Nakamura has relied on faint sounds and lip-reading to communicate with others since childhood. For Nakamura, the concept of sound is first imagined and then associated with words and real images. This time lag creates a unique field, encompassing various uncertainties: the silent world and the sound world, the body and cognition, imagination and reality, names and objects, experience and concepts. It is at the intersection, opposition, erosion, and interaction of these elements that established borders dissolve. Nakamura received a cochlear implant in 2012 and went to study in the United States in 2018. During this period, his exposure to and application of new materials and techniques greatly expanded his sensory perception, further influencing his sense of color and space, language, and communication in his artistic creations. Nakamura has received several awards and grants, including the "US-Japan Creative Arts Fellowship" (2019), the " Graduating award at MICA " (2020), and the " Fellowship Artist-in-Residence Program at Franconia Sculpture Park " (2021). He has held solo and group exhibitions in Tokyo, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Karuizawa, among other places. His works are collected by institutions such as Tokyo University of the Arts and the UESHIMA MUSEUM.

"Sound Borders" reveals Nakamura's perception of the "borders" between hearing and vision. Borders are obstacles to communication, yet they are also crucial points of contact. Nakamura believes that hearing and vision are not isolated but are closely interactive, and that artistic expression can facilitate this interaction, potentially transcending the "limits of communication" we face daily. In this solo exhibition, the artist employs several strategies to explore the theme of "borders between hearing and vision": creating scenes that depict the linguistic structures of both audible and silent worlds, using color and portrait variations as metaphors for perception, and observing the loss of identity related to visual and auditory aspects in modern society. In paintings depicting butterflies flying between the moon and a sea of words, Nakamura conveys the essence of dialogue rooted in the borders of hearing and vision. For the artist, "dialogue" is as uncertain as the constantly changing moon or seas, with butterflies seeming to float in the space between the moon and its oval shadow on the sea. Through this worldview, Nakamura explores the functions of words and sounds and the connections between symbols and sounds. The series "Seeing the Sound" reflects the perceptual changes the artist experienced after undergoing cochlear implant surgery, which expanded his auditory world. In this series, the expressions of figures change in response to the surrounding sounds and vibrations, causally demonstrating the close relationship between sound and image. Additionally, Nakamura's recent works predominantly use shades of red and pink, inspired by his imagination of sound: for Nakamura, the pink is a pure sound expression while the presence of red refers to his body and the problem of sound as a result of his pain. The fluctuation in the intensity of these colors symbolically suggests the fluidity of the artist's cyborg identity: in the realm of crossing borders, the artist creates a synesthetic world that continues and transforms the perception of reality. Nakamura also observes the anxiety of identity instability faced by people in modern society, interpreting it through his own experiences and perspectives: In “Noh Mask” series, the surface of the masks is covered like a shield, adorned with feathers that resemble musical notes floating in a world of sound. The shells symbolize words settling in a silent ocean, while the twisted strings and bells in the mouth reveal the complex words to be heard of those experiencing an identity crisis.


1F, No.1, Jihu Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei City, 114, Taiwan (R.O.C)
Tel: +886 2 8751 1185
Fax: +886 2 8751 1175
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 19:00
Closed: Sunday, Monday, Public Holiday
More Info

Opening Reception

2024.07.13(Sat) 4pm
*Artist will be present


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