Banri Nakamura

Region: Toronto Ontario
| Born 1944, Tokyo Japan


Banri Nakamura was born in Tokyo, and moved close to Kyoto to escape the air raids of the Second world war which caused the deaths of his father, grandfather, aunt, and uncle.

After ten years of country life, Nakamura moved back to Tokyo, and studied at a Industrial art technical high school where he specialized in woodwork. This was followed by studies at Musashino Art University in Tokyo where he majored in industrial design.

After graduation, he then proceeded to work as a product designer and interior architect for six years in Tokyo while feeling that he ‘did not comfortably fit in the society.’ As he explains, ‘One of the reasons [for my discomfort] is my unconscious mind that was affected by my experiences as a child of war dead. The social structure in Japan is based on a traditionally established foundation in spite of the globalization in the 21st century. Many aspects of the culture made me feel mismatched with my values and lifestyle, so I moved to Canada where I believe there are more opportunities and possibilities in the inclusive Canadian society where one can live with a free spirit.’

Since Nakamura’s immigration to Toronto, his career has been in Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Furniture Design through managing his company, Banri Nakamura Associates Ltd. for over four decades.

Artist Statement

My keen interest has always been working with wood. As an element, I adore the character and textures of firm, flexible, soft wood that has a delicate sensitivity which contributes to warm environments. These attributes are reflected in the creation of my own house – hand-built – where I live with my family in a comfortable living space.’ * Currently, I am concentrating on handcrafting wooden furniture of my original design which is minimalist insofar as the design examines the geometric structure and essential use of the materials of which it is made to achieve the beauty of function.