Emma Nishimura

Region: ON Toronto
Born 1982, Toronto



Currently based in Toronto, Emma received her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2013 and her BA from the University of Guelph in 2005. Her work ranges from traditional etchings, archival pigment prints, drawings and audio pieces to art installations. Using a diversity of media, her work addresses ideas of memory and loss that are rooted within family stories and inherited narratives. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is in public and private collections. Emma currently teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, the University of Guelph and Sheridan College.

Artist Statement

Family stories are told and retold, evolving over time with new details and further layers. One story merges with the next, while artifacts, photographs, oral and written accounts dissolve into the fabric of memory, building the family narrative. As I navigate my own family’s tales, the stories and images seem to slip through my fingers, given the instability of all that I have been left with. Continually drawn back to the complicated family narrative of my paternal grandparents and their internment during the Second World War, I have sought to explore through my work, the geography of their memories, as well as the community and history that surrounded them. Each of the different series of works, has evolved from collecting stories, locating memories and working through all that is not remembered. By exploring these ideas through different perspectives and approaches, the work draws attention to the fragments and layers left behind. Thus, the weight of what cannot be recovered or remembered is revealed.
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