Noritaka Minami

(Japanese, b. 1981; resides in Park Ridge, IL)

Noritaka Minami’s 1972 series documents Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower, an iconic building designed by Kisho Kurokawa and constructed in 1972. The tower was created as part of the Metabolism architectural movement that was formed in Japan in the 1960s and focused on creating a new, flexible approach to urban planning. The movement aimed to provide spaces that could contain the infrastructure for an entire city, including access to transportation, jobs, services, and outdoor recreation. The Nakagin Capsule Tower consists of 140 prefabricated and removable capsules, meant to be replaced every 25 years to accommodate shifting societal needs and growth. However, the original capsules, now over 40 years old, have remained stagnant with several of the units abandoned and deteriorating, putting the building in constant threat of demolition and highlighting the unattained goals of the movement. Minami uses photography as a way to perpetuate the building that he views as an important representation of Japanese post-war ideals for the 21st century and to memorialize the distinct moment in the city’s cultural history.

Noritaka Minami immigrated to the United States from Osaka, Japan in 1987. He completed his BA in Art Practice with a minor in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley (2004) and his MFA in Studio Art and an emphasis in Visual Studies from the University of California, Irvine (2011). He has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally, including at the Kana Kawanishi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2017, 2015); the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA (2015); and the Center for Photography, Woodstock, NY (2015). He is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at Loyola University Chicago.