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 the age of 15. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of St. Thomas Houston in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Houston in 1993. Currently, Mr. Nakagawa is the Ruth N. Halls Distinguished Professor of Photography at Indiana University, where he directs the Center for Integrative Photographic Studies. He lives and works in Bloomington, Indiana.
Nakagawa is a recipient of the 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2010 Higashikawa New Photographer of the Year, and 2015 Sagamihara Photographer of the Year in Japan. Nakagawa's work has been exhibited internationally, solo exhibitions include OKINAWA TRILOGY: Osamu James Nakagawa, Kyoto University of Art and Design; GAMA Caves, PGI, Tokyo; Banta: Stained Memory, Sakima Art Museum, Okinawa, Japan; Course: Banta, SEPIA International Inc., New York, NY; Osamu James Nakagawa, Ma-between the past, McMurtrey Gallery, Houston, Texas; Kai: Osamu James Nakagawa, SEPIA International Inc., New York.
Selected group shows include - A Shared Elegy: Emmet Gowin, Elijah Gowin, Takayuki Ogawa, James Nakagawa, Grunwald Gallery of Art, Indiana University; The Photograph: What You See & What You Don't #02, Chinretsukan Gallery, Tokyo National University of Arts; Infinite Pulse: Photography in Time, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, curated by Alison Pappas; After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age, curated by Mia Fineman, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Traces and Omens, 2005 Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen, Netherlands, Contemporary American Photography, 7 International Fototage 2005, Mannheim Germany; Common Ground, Corcoran Museum of Fine Arts, Washington D.C.; Cuenca, Ecuador Bienal '98: Borderline Figuration; Medialogue-Photography in Contemporary Japanese Art '98, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; Field of Vision: Five Gulf Coast Photographers, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. His work is included in numerous public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; George Eastman Museum; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Sakima Art Museum, Okinawa; The Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and others. Nakagawa is represented by Sepia EYE, NYC and PGI, Tokyo. Nakagawa's recent monograph GAMA Caves was published from Akaaka Art Publisher in Tokyo, Japan.