Seven years ago, I traveled around the areas in the north with heavy snowfall before heading south, arriving at Tsunan Town in Niigata. What I saw was three meters of persistent snow - melting and softening in the daytime, freezing and compressing at night - like large waves sweeping over the city, engulfing everything. I decided to shoot there.

The snow clouds took away the light in the sky, while the snow that had accumulated on the ground completely absorbed sound. But inside the house, nothing changed. Time stood still. The endless silence was broken by the roar of the snow sliding off the roof. Time, which had stopped, became more urgently present. However, such commotions that feel life - threatening for those staying inside are just tiny dots spread across the whole place. The pinhole, plugged with snow, brings us back to the world where sound and time are even more inanimate than before the event took place.

In the middle of April, we started hearing a dripping sound from inside the snowpack. The snow has melted and created a hollow space inside. Such minute changes gradually link with each other and form clusters. When the degree of change exceeds a certain point, it undergoes an explosive transformation. The hollow becomes an opening to the outside, through which time emerges with colors, sounds, and smells, twisting and forcing its way forward, while plants and animals - transcending species and categories - overlap and merge as one life. Time invigorates nature and people.

It was 8000 years ago that snow began to fall on this land. The strata have proven it. Earthenware shows how people's lives and culture mutated in response to snow. A forest of large and small trees, twisted by snow, creates the illusion of constant swaying. Even after the land returns to its original state, the traces of the villages and rice fields never cease to speak of the past. The pale black eyes belong to the people who were born, and grew older, under the reflected light of the humid snow.

This is a place where time is carved individually by all things, melting and echoing the time once carved, creating a singular vibrancy.

As its name dissolves, the land reverts into a zone where "snow" falls.

I tried to capture the "time" ruled by the "snow". - Nao NAKAI



1978 Born in Shiga Prefecture Lives and works in Tokyo
2006 Graduated from Nippon Photography Institute

▪ Solo Exhibitions
2022 "THE TIME RULED BY SNOW" Yokohama Civic Art Galley Azamino,Kanagawa
2021 "landscape fragment" the Agriculture and jomon Experience facility, Tsunanmachi, Niigata
2019 "Shu" Classic Lab "Yanagi no Ie", Niigata
2019 "Shu" Galley Main, Kyoto
2018 "Shu" Roonee 247 Fine Arts, Tokyo
2014 "Mimei" Ginza Nikon salon, Tokyo, Osaka Nikon salon

▪ Group Exhibitions
2021 "The World Beyond the World" Rongyi Art Museum, Shanghai
2019 "KG+Select" Former Junpu Elementary School, Kyoto

▪ Awards
2008 The 4th Yonosuke Natori Photographic Award - Encouraging Award

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