Yurie Nagashima (長島 有里枝, Nagashima Yurie, born 1973) is a Japanese photographer and contemporary artist working in the genres self-portraiture, portraiture, street photography, installation, research-based and still life.

In 2000, Nagashima was awarded the prestigious Kimura Ihei Award. Nagashima is a photography lecturer at Waseda, Tokyo and Musashino Universities in Tokyo and a visiting professor at Kyoto Art University.

Early work

Yurie Nagashima rose to national fame in Japan after receiving the second annual Urbanart award hosted by the Parco Gallery in Tokyo in 1993 for a series of photographs depicting herself and her family in the nude.[1] Nagashima was nominated for the award by Nobuyoshi Araki, one of Japan's best known photographers. At the time, Nagashima was still a student at Musashino Art University in Tokyo from where she graduated in 1995 with a BA in visual communication design.[2] In 1995, Nagashima had a two-person exhibition with the American photographer Catherine Opie at the Parco Gallery, Tokyo.[2] Following this encounter with Opie, Nagashima embarked on a MFA at the California Institute of the Arts under her supervision.

In at times provocative photographs, Nagashima has tested public perceptions on obscenity and censorship in Japan.[3]

Photography Monographs

Nagashima has published numerous important photography monographs that deal with the family, gender, identity and sexuality, such as Senaka no kioku (2009) (literally translated, "Memories of a back" which hints at childhood where children are carried on their mother's backs). The series depicts biographical stories from her childhood.[4]

Photobooks are an important format in the history of Japanese photography. This format became more important than prints starting in the 1960s due to the quality of design, printing and materials.[5][6]

Nagashima's photobooks include:

  • Nagashima Yurie Photobook, Fuga, Tokyo, 1995. ISBN 4-89424-059-9.
  • Empty White Room (エンプティホワイトルーム), Little More, Tokyo, 1995. ISBN 4-947648-17-1.
  • Kazoku (家族) / A Family, Korinsha Press, Kyoto, 1998. ISBN 4-7713-0334-7.
  • Pastime Paradise, Madra, Tokyo, 2000. ISBN 4-944079-23-0.
  • not six, Switch, Tokyo, 2004. ISBN 4-88418-014-3.
  • Senaka no Kioku (背中の記憶), Kodansha, Tokyo, 2009. ISBN 978-4-06-215896-1.
  • Swiss, Akaaka, Tokyo, 2010. ISBN 4-903545-59-8.
  • 5 comes after 6, MATCH and Company, Tokyo, 2014.[7]


From 2000 to 2014, Nagashima was represented by the gallery SCAI the Bathhouse in Tokyo, where she had numerous solo and group exhibitions.[2]

In addition to her work as a photographer and photography lecturer, in August 2014, Nagashima was a Master at the International Summer School of Photography, in Latvia. She led a workshop titled 'Photography as a Subversive Tactic: Being the Other'.[8]

Nagashima is currently represented by MAHO KUBOTA GALLERY.

Scholarly works

Nagashima wrote a book titled 「僕らの女の子写真からわたしたちのガーリーフォトへ」which was published by Daifukushorin in 2020.[9] The work is based on her master's dissertation from Musashino University. She used discourse analysis to closely study the art criticism surrounding the 1990s photography movement that she was part of, to prove how a gender-biassed narrative dismissed the importance of her and others in the movement.[10]


Nagashima curated a major show at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa called "Countermeasures Against Awkward Discourses: From the Perspective of Third Wave Feminism" from October 15, 2021—March 13, 2022.

Solo exhibitions

  • 2022 “Where the gaze resides” DOMANI plus @ Aichi
  • 2020 "B&W" Maho Kubota Gallery
  • 2016 "about home" Maho Kubota Gallery
  • 2015 "5 Comes After 6" UTRECHT, Tokyo
  • 2011 "What I was supposed to see and what Isaw" 1223 GENDAIKAIGA, Tokyo
  • 2010 "SWISS" SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, viewing space, Tokyo
  • 2007 "a box named flower" lammfromm, Tokyo
  • 2005 "Her Projects – memories of no one" KIRIN PLAZA OSAKA, Osaka
  • 2004 "Candy Horror" SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo
  • 2004 "not six" NADiff, Tokyo
  • 1999 "I want to be your power" California Institute of the Arts, California
  • 1994 "Nagashima Yurie - A Room of Love-" P-House Gallery, Tokyo


  • Kodansha Essay Award, Tokyo (2010)
  • The 26th Kimura Ihei Photography Award, Tokyo (2001)
  • PARCO Prize in URBANART #2, Tokyo (1993)


  1. ^ Warner Marien, Mary (2006). Photography: A Cultural History. London: Laurence King, p. 464.
  2. ^ a b c "Yurie Nagashima Archived July 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine", SCAI the Bathhouse.
  3. ^ Roscoe, Bruce (2007). Windows on Japan: a walk through place and perception. New York: Algora, p. 278.
  4. ^ Masatsugu Ono, "A Year in Reading", The Millions.
  5. ^ "Off the Shelf: Japanese Photobooks". The New Yorker. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2022-06-13.
  6. ^ Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and '70s | shashasha 写々者 - Delivering Japanese and Asian Photography to the World.
  7. ^ "5 Comes After 6 [MA000_00032] - 2,376JPY : Bookshop M".
  8. ^ "Yurie Nagashima - Photography as a Subversive Tactic » ISSP". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "「僕ら」の「女の子写真」から わたしたちのガーリーフォトヘ by 長島有里枝". 「僕ら」の「女の子写真」から わたしたちのガーリーフォトヘ by 長島有里枝 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-06-13.
  10. ^ Nagashima, Yurie (2020). "No one else was doing it so I had to do it myself" (PDF). Bunka-Cho Art Platform Japan Translation Series.