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Art Nomura


las palmas de los angeles (entire video, about 28 minutes)

A poetic and scientific look at palm trees in the Los Angeles area.  Poetry and songs about the palms embellish this twenty-nine minute documentary.

Finding Home (2006) is about Japanese Americans who have decided to live in Japan rather than America. The video examines what they have gained and lost with this decision. The six Japanese Americans featured respond to questions about lifestyle, identity, personal evolution, and choice of residence. They provide fresh insight into the expatriate experience for those who have chosen to live in their ancestral homeland. Nomura, a sansei (third generation Japanese American), and a first-time visitor to Japan at age 57, shares his impressions of being in Japan throughout the documentary. Finding Home is a 52 minute documentary sponsored by a 2003-04 Fulbright Research Grant.  Nomura spent the fall/winter of 2003 in Japan capturing visuals and conducting interviews for this project.


VC Digital Challenge (2003) Entry for the VC Digital Slam Challenge on November 2004. Premiered at the Visual Communications PAST/FORWARD Fundraiser, Sunday Nov. 14, 2004


9 Hours Ahead (2000)   Since the reconstruction of Germany after  WWII, the reunified country has leapt ahead of the United States in many ways.  This video uniquely documents some of the differences between the two countries beyond the nine hour time difference. Photos from video here.


Buckaroo Boy (1996) Experimental autobiography on the coming-of-age of a Japanese American boy in the 50's and 60's. It humorously explores the influence of TV cowboys and other mainstream heroes on minorities' self-identity. Throughout my childhood, I held on tightly to the idea of being a cowboy when I grew up. But as I got older and more aware, I came to realize that there weren't any Asian cowboys with glasses.  This video is about the questions that arise when your role models are fantasy figures that don't reflect your native ethnicity, race, or culture. It considers the influence and power of television/film over its viewers. It also speculates on the seldom-considered relationship between those of Japanese ancestry and Native American Indians. As in most of my work, Buckaroo Boy incorporates layers of information, conveyed not only in the conventional use of sound and image, but through the innovative use of framing mattes, chroma-keyed overlays and digital manipulations of photographs and computer generated elements.


Asian Pacific American Heritage Promos (1994) A series of eight, 60 second spots highlighting the culture and members of the Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Samoan, Cambodian, Thai, and Filipino communities.Aired throughout the month of May, 1994 as part of the celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Produced for Channel 28, KCET, Los Angeles.


Getting Along (1992) An experimental look at racism and its roots. This award-winning video (Atlanta VideoFestival) is included in over 100 university collections nationwide. Features music by the late nikkei composer Glen Horiuchi.


A Conversation With Six Artists (1992) Segment produced for`The Works', an arts magazine and video cafe, for Channel 28, KCET, Los Angeles, 1992.Features writer Janet Sternberg, actor Shishir Kurup, actresses Diane Rodriguez and Joyce Guy, director Jose Luis Valenzuela, and art activist Milton Simpson. 1993 Los Angeles Area EMMY nomination


Fire and Ashes (1989) A documentary about Korean performance artist, Sonia Hahn. Documents the destruction of her paintings through ritual of dance and fire in the California desert. 

las palmas de los angeles (4 min. trailer)

las palmas de los angeles (1989) An informational and poetic look at the palm trees of Los Angeles. Silent sentinels, witnesses to a century of change, palm trees have become the de facto symbol Southern California. Features original poetry, latino song classics, and a rap song about palm trees. .


Wok Like A Man (1987) is a music video with substance that explores the reasons for immigration/immigrant experience. I produced it in 1987 after hearing my son talk trash about his Chinese immigrant classmates at a San Gabriel Valley high school. `They don't know anything,' he grumbled, `They stick together and won't even talk to you. Why don't they go back to China?' I was stunned by his intolerance. He is a Yonsei, a fourth generation Japanese American, whose great-grandparents were born in Japan. I told him that his own ancestors, not so long ago, had had their own problems with adjusting to America and having America adjust to them. Our discussion made me think about all the immigrants that make up America; why they might have left their native countries, what they lost and gained as they made their ways in a new land. I also thought about how all immigrants, from the freshly arrived to the comfortably assimilated, live very different lives. These musings evolved into a docudrama about three Chinese Americans, a wok chef, a young urban professional, and a teenaged skateboarder.

Wok Like A Man is a MTV look-alike designed to appeal to the young viewer, but with a meaningful perspective on immigrant roots and present realities. Thankfully, my son grew up to be a thoughtful, demanding, yet tolerant individual who was hopefully influenced by the discussion that led to this video.


John (1986) About men named John. Examines the power and humor in one's given name. Interviews with men named John, the public, famous Johns, and the a look at the variations of the name throughout the world provide food for thought on the universal topic of one's given name. Music composed by Johann S. Bach.


3 Wishes (1982) Asks the question of people between the ages of 6 - 81, `If you could have three wishes, what would they be?'


Refugees from Laos: A Hill Tribe in West Oakland (1981) About the enculturation of the Mien from Laos, as they resettle in a California ghetto after the Vietnam war.

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