George Nobechi is a Japanese-Canadian Fine Art and Documentary Photographer based in Tokyo, Japan. His bicultural upbringing has influenced his vision that simultaneously makes him an insider and outsider to both Western and Eastern cultures. His contemplative work is often described as depicting a warm feeling of humanity.
Nobechi’s work has appeared internationally in publications such as PDN, Asahi Camera, Fraction, RFotofolio and Edge of Humanity. His multi-award-winning series “Here. Still. (Unmoored)” is in the collections of the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography and the Australian Museum for Contemporary Photography, and has been exhibited around the United States, Japan, and Mexico, with a solo exhibition at the Gastfeld Gallery in Germany slated for 2020. Select solo exhibitions include “Moments of Serenity” at the Walls of the World Gallery in Penne, Italy, “Unmoored” at the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center at Hastings College in Nebraska, as well as the Workspace Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska. Group exhibition highlights include “Exposure” at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, PDN’s “The Curator” at the Milk Gallery in New York City, the 50th Anniversary Exhibition at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA, and at the Tokyo Institute of Photography.
Award highlights include a Critical Mass Top 50 award in 2017, 3rd Prize in the International Photography Awards in 2018 for Fine Art Landscape Series, 2nd Prizes in the Paris Photo Prize of 2017 for Fine Art and Monograph categories, first and third prizes in the Tokyo International Foto Awards, as well as Best Landscape Series in PDN “The Curator” in 2017.
Nobechi studied in Santa Fe, New Mexico with renowned National Geographic photographer Sam Abell. Abell and Nobechi bonded over their mutual affinity for Japanese culture as well as for photographing “daily life.” With Abell’s encouragement, Nobechi decided to pursue a career in photography.
Nobechi’s second project focused on his Japanese family’s roots in the Tohoku region, which had been devastated by the tragic earthquake and tsunami of 2011. He chose to focus on hope and renewal as represented by the cycle of nature, expressed by the joy of the people during the cherry blossom season. A selection of this work, “Kitaguni ni Saku” (To Bloom in the North Country) was published in Japan’s venerable Asahi Camera magazine in March 2019.
Nobechi honed his photographic training as a Work Study for the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops later in 2015, learning from artists such as Amy Toensing, Eddie Soloway, Brett L. Erickson, and Arno Rafael Minkkinen, the latter two of whom were particularly influential in his early photographic career. Nobechi also studied overseas with Newsha Tavakolian, Keith Carter, Greg Gorman, and Kate Breakey, with whom he neighbored in Arizona for two years and struck up a great friendship.
Nobechi launched the inaugural Santa Fe Workshops programs in Asia before moving on in 2017 to start his own initiative, Nobechi Creative, which produces workshops and tours in Japan, as well as exhibitions, artist talks, community events, and major photo projects. Through Nobechi Creative, he has collaborated with artists such as Jamey Stillings on his renewable energy project “Changing Perspectives, Japan,” Sam Abell on his retrospective exhibition “Hagi, 1980,” as well as Arthur Meyerson and Greg Gorman.
Nobechi currently resides in Tokyo, where he is focused on creating projects related to the human condition in rapidly-changing Japan.