Arata Nojima (1982 - )

Using nature as his motif, Nojima strives to capture the emotional awe, peaceful flow of time and unique lighting that humans can experience when physically present in nature. What sparked Nojima’s interest in copperplate printing was his encounter with the German print artist Jorg Schmeisser, while studying oil painting at the Kyoto City University of Arts. Schmeisser’s unique view of the world expressed through his work fascinated Nojima, drawing him right into the world of copperplate printing. Nojima did not merely learn the techniques of printing from Schmeisser, but more importantly, he learned the joy of simply creating an image. Working closely with Schmeisser, Nojima was heavily influenced by Casper David Friedrich, an artist that Schmeisser himself liked. Friedrich was able to depict nature in its entirety. We experience deep emotions of sorrow and awe in nature, which are emotions that, once experienced, resonate with us forever. Friedrich captures precisely this in his images and this inspired Nojima to create powerful images as well, capturing the purity and grandness of nature.These pieces are landscape images of Yakushima, Japan. The details of the light shining through the leaves and the shadows they create brings about a sense of stillness and peacefulness, evoking the emotional sorrow and awe, which results in a powerful image that has captured all of nature’s beauty. For Nojima, the plate that he etches is an expression of his individual perspective, and the reversed image that is printed onto the paper is a different perspective. Therefore, a specific vision has both the internal and external perspectives and can be expressed by using the copperplate as a medium. The beauty of copperplate printing lies in the distinctive velvet-like gradations of colours, pressed between a space that is a mere 1mm in thickness. This unique form of printing allows for very meticulous expressions in the images, where the etching process dictates the thickness of the lines and thereby the tone of the piece, creating a very calculated expression of a vision in black and white.