YOSHIAKI NAKAMURA: In Between-Resonance

Ginza New Gallery

June 3 - July 2, 2022


Yoshiaki Nakamura, innate hearing-impaired, has been communicating with others by means of a little catchable sound and lip-reading from childhood. For the artist, the sound was originally really the imagination; in his daily life, it takes a time until an imagination comes to fruition as a word that grasps a reality. Because this “time-lag” itself includes various elements of uncertainty, it has also hidden potential to be the unique magnetic field for creativity―the creative ground, in which various conflicting factors like silence/sound, body/cognition, imagination/reality, nomination/substance, experience/idea, etc. encounter, compete, corrode, and reverberate each other. Furthermore, wearing an implanted cochlea since 2012 as well as the encounter with new materials and technologies during his four years’ stay in the US from 2018, has been radically expanding his way of perception.

In this exhibition, the artist gets back to his creative source, the painting. Cutting deeply into his own mental scenery, which is consisted of sounds and words, will become synonymous with looking for “any possibility of conversations lurking in every kind of gap” and risking his existence. 

A cue to resonate with people beyond uncertainty. Yoshiaki Nakamura hopes that this exhibition will play a part in the ability of imaging what others are going through and filing the gap between the peoples who pass each other.

We look forward to welcoming you to this precious opportunity.


Through my creation, I have been searching for the relation of “Sound and Communication”, that is, the point where sight and hearing are crossing in human existence. How are materials, sounds, and words interacted with the sight and the hearing, and how to cross the borders. This theme largely depends on my own experiences as an innate hearing impairment.

The central theme of “Sound and Communication” owes to my daily experience from my childhood; I used to imagine the meaning of the words that people talk by observing the movements of their mouths and gestures. To get information from others and develop it as a communication were not easy, then, I have come to devote myself to seeking the possibility of the dialogue beyond boundaries, which are unknowingly set between the peoples.

Thus, thinking always about sounds exploring ambiguity lying between words and objects may be compared with the act of crossing the ocean by following only floating objects on the surface, whereas the difficulty of communication with others resembles a feeling of travelers who are wandering in the deep forests and mountains.


Expresses the strange chaotic sound that can be constantly heard in the silent world of the hearing impaired. My image of that noise is something I have had in my mind since birth, and I tried to visually express that inner world. It's something that I can never completely share with another person. Sometimes it sounds like a roar, other times serene like the sound of waves. I also make use of writings and phonograms, which are necessary tools for me to communicate with others. By sharing these phonograms with visitors, it allows them to feel and consider a different kind of mentality, a different sense of sight or hearing, or a gap in our perceptions. The fragmented person is a hearing-impaired dancer that makes use of sign language.

Why I paint words and objects that twinkle...
When I watch the ocean waves in the dark, the battery of my hearing aid sometimes runs out. When it does, it feels like the ocean suddenly lost its pulse; silently glimmering, like the constellations in the sky. When the battery runs out while I'm walking the streets at night, things like street lamps, glass shards on the ground, or puddles of water seem to sparkle more strongly, appearing like gemstones or fireflies. I want to share this experience with others, which is why I paint words and objects that twinkle in my paintings.

By the way, since December 2012, I have been wearing a cochlear implant in the right ear. This fact changed drastically my sensibility of audio, visual, and time. To say nothing of my creation, which is the same as the fruition of sensibility, the alteration was remarkable in my color-space recognition and a feel for verbalization. In parallel, the relation between the fragments of words scattered in the brain and the subtle nuance of colors has come to be reconstructed changing the way of communication itself. Within four years of my stay in the US, I spent two years in graduate school. Of course, it was because I wished to make a social contribution my own way, as well as the timing overlapped with my feeling at that time; I was feeling a kind of comfortlessness in the choice of the mediums in Japanese painting as interrupted free-flowing thought. New materials and technologies that I absorbed in the US and applied to the creation made me recognize the further interactive potentiality of art.

Pink Noise (2021 - 2022) 298 x 420mm Acrylic

A World without Sound

Uses handwritten letters photocopied onto Japanese paper, then dyed with natural dyes used in Japanese painting.
Theme: Expresses the sound of a world of conversation. Nakamura makes use of several handwritten letters and paints them over with flames and colors to depict their sounds.


Continuation of "A World without Sound"

Expresses the sound of a world of conversation. Nakamura makes use of several handwritten letters and paints them over with orange to depict a dull timbre. His hearing impairment makes him hear indistinct sounds (which is why he needs to use lip reading).

Pink sounds

Expresses the boundary between a world with sound and a world without sound. The left side is pink and symbolizes a world with sound. This is because I perceive sound as the color pink since I started using a cochlear implant in 2013. The right side is black and symbolizes a world without sound. By letting the pink acrylic paint trickle from the left side to the black sumi ink on the right, I try to express sound piercing through a world of silence. By blending two materials with different qualities, i.e. acrylic and sumi ink, I am exploring the boundary between sound and silence.

YOSHIAKI NAKAMURA: In Between-Resonance
June 3 - July 2, 2022

Ginza New Gallery

6-4-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo, 104-0061, Japan
Tel: +81 (0)3 3574 6161
Fax: +81 (0)3 3574 9430
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 19:00
Closed: Sunday, Monday
More Info

Instagram Live ( June 22 @ 6pm JPT)

“In Between―Resonance” Guide Tour by Artist 
*conducted in Japanese


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