Q&A: Noritaka Minami — California City (Real Estate)


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Work smarter, not harder. 
What will baffle future generations about our day and age? The short-sightedness of our actions and decisions. 
Are you aware of any conspiracies? I was reminded recently that you have to always watch your back. 
What is it that interests you about photography? You’re able to document something that could be easily overlooked and make the case for its significance. What is the worst thing about city life? The noise and the energy, which are also probably its best parts. 
What part of the planet would you like to explore? There’s something I’d like to take a look at over in Somaliland. 
What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? There are things that are beyond the scope of our current understanding. 
If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Fred Rogers. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Glaciology. 
What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? Just after I decided to call it a day and finally came across what I was waiting for. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Document Louis Kahn’s buildings. 
Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. There’s a great collage made by the architect Arata Isozaki in 1968, often published with the title “Hiroshima Blast Site: Electric City” or “Re-ruined Hiroshima”. 
How often do you take other people’s advice? I should follow her advice all of the time instead of most of the time. 
Describe a personal hell. That flight from ORD to BOS that was supposed to take 2 hours that took 13 hours instead.

On what occasion do you lie? Sometimes I forget that I’m no longer eligible for student discounts. 
What was the last crime you witnessed? What’s on the news daily. What is the best way to educate yourself? Look at the bibliography of the article you’re reading and perform further research. 
What is the next book you want to read? Luxury and Rubble: Civility and Dispossession in New Saigon by Erik Harms. Ultimate camera? A Mamiya 7 with a 6×7 digital sensor, a stronger build for the camera body, and tilt-shift lenses for the system. 
Most used camera? Tokyo: 4×5 field camera and Mamiya 7; California City: Fuji GW 690 and Mamiya 645 Super; Ho Chi Minh City: Sony mirrorless. 
What object do you want? Jollibee, Chicken Joy, spicy. 
What object do you need? Popeyes, Bonafide chicken, spicy. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? Advances in technology do not necessarily equate to progress and harmony for mankind. 
Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? I’ve worked hard to be in better physical shape to do this new project. Describe a cheap thrill. “Rilakkuma and Kaoru” on Netflix is quite amazing. 
Pick a historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan. 
Are impulses more important than consequences? They probably go hand in hand. 
Which talent would you most like to have? To be more relaxed. 
What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Follow the hourly forecast on the Weather Channel, Accuweather, Weather Underground; hope for the best for tomorrow’s shoot and the quality of light.

Noritaka Minami is a visual artist based in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Art Practice and graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a MFA in Studio Art. Minami is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at Loyola University Chicago. He has also taught photography at Harvard University, Wellesley College, the School of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Irvine. He is a recipient of grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Durfee Foundation. In 2015, he published a monograph titled “1972 – Nakagin Capsule Tower” (Kehrer Verlag), which received the 2015 Architectural Book Award from the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt, Germany. Solo exhibitions of his works have been held at UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design, Griffin Museum of Photography, and UC Merced Art Gallery. His forthcoming solo exhibition will open at Kana Kawanishi Gallery in Tokyo, Japan in April 2018. His works have also been exhibited in group shows at Aperture (New York), Somerset House (London), Photo Basel (Basel), New Wight Gallery (Los Angeles), and Kearney Street Workshop (San Francisco). Minami’s works are held in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design, and Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago.

To see more of Noritaka Minami’s work visit — noritakaminami.com