Two Inadequate Voices


2IV is a platform for image-makers to recount and reflect textually on their stories of being out in the world whilst photographing.

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Osamu James Nakagawa
Part #1: Venice

Nakagawa James <>                                Mon, 30 May, 17:28
to me

Dear Kristian,

Thank you, I came to Hamburg to attend the opening of the Hamburg Triennial exhibition at the Deichtorhallen. After the opening events, my wife and I took a vacation in Italy! I am in Venice to visit the Biennale and leaving the day after tomorrow. Yesterday, I dropped my phone in the ocean after visiting the Biennale, and now the only way for me to get information is through my laptop. My wife lost her phone in Florence as well. I think this is a sign from the photo god that perhaps not a good idea to use my iPhone to take snapshots throughout the trip and not have other digital cameras. I brought Fuji GFX 100s to document my installation and visit and take photographs of the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg. I also got my Olympus PenW film camera to take windows pictures. (see the Mado series,

So, my phone is gone now, and I hope my phone automatically backs up my images—no more FB posts for the next two days. No navigation with Google Maps, and no dinner photos either.

Perhaps, this is a much better way to explore Venice with a good old map and not take a photo of our wonderful meal. My only worry is how to get the physical paper for the COVID test result to show at the airport…

Maybe we can edit this text, and I will come up with an image from this trip.

Keep in touch,

Warm regards from Venice,

Osamu James Nakagawa was born in New York City in 1962 and raised in Tokyo. He returned to the United States, moving to Houston, Texas, at age 15. He received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Houston in 1993. Currently, Mr. Nakagawa is a Ruth N. Halls Distinguished Professor of Photography at Indiana University. Nakagawa’s work is included in numerous collections and he is a recipient of the 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2010 Higashikawa New Photographer of the Year, and the 2015 Sagamihara Photographer of the Year in Japan. Nakagawa’s work has been exhibited internationally, including 2022 Triennale Der Photographie Hamburg, Currency, Deichtorhallen; From the Cave, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum; 2019 Kyotographie, Eclipse+ Kai: Osamu James Nakagawa, Gallery Sugata; Photography to End All Photography, Brandts Museum, Denmark; OKINAWA TRILOGY: Osamu James Nakagawa, Kyoto University of Art and Design; War/Photography, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and others. Nakagawa’s monograph GAMA Caves is available from Akaaka Art Publisher in Tokyo, Japan.