Our Faculty

headshot of Tomonari Nishikawa

Tomonari Nishikawa

Chair; Associate Professor



Tomonari Nishikawa explores the idea of documenting situations/phenomena through a chosen medium and technique, often focusing on the process itself. His films have been screened at numerous film festivals and other screening venues, such as Berlinale, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Filmadrid, FRONTEIRA, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, the London Film Festival, Media City Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and Singapore International Film Festival. His most recent film, Light, Noise, Smoke, and Light, Noise, Smoke, has premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. He presented a series of 8mm and 16mm films at MoMA P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, and his film installation, Building 945, received the Grant Award from the Museum of Contemporary Cinema in Spain.

Nishikawa also produces audio and visual performances. His ongoing 16mm film projection performance project, “Six Seventy-Two Variations,” has been performed at the Block Museum in Evanston, Cosmic Rays Film Festival in Carrboro, Exploratorium in San Francisco, FRACTO in Berlin, Microlights Cinema in Milwaukee and Shapeshifters Cinema in Oakland, among others. He also uses slide projectors for his other performance projects or collaborative work with sound artists, and such projects have been presented at AgX Boston Film Collective, Microscope Gallery in New York, Mono No Aware Festival of Cinema Arts and Spool Contemporary Art Space in Johnson City.

Nishikawa works as a film curator too, and he has curated dozens of screening programs and presented close to 500 films at various venues. He served as a juror for film festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Big Muddy Film Festival, dresdner schmalfilmtage, the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival. He is one of the co-founders of KLEX: Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video and Music Festival, and Transient Visions: Festival of the Moving Image.

Recent projects

  • Six Seventy-Two Variations, Variation 3 (For Charles) (2023, 25 min., 16mm film projection performance)
  • Light, Noise, Smoke, and Light, Noise, Smoke (2023, 6 min., 16mm, sound, color, Japan)
  • Performance for Three Slide Projectors (2022, 15 min., slide projector performance)
  • Amusement Ride (2019, 6 min., 16mm, sound, color, Japan)
  • Ten Mornings Ten Evenings and One Horizon (2016, 10 min., 16mm, sound, color, Japan)


  • MFA, San Francisco Art Institute

Research Interests

  • Film and video art
  • Film projection performance
  • Film curation
  • Structural film
  • Minimalism in arts and music

Teaching Interests

  • 16mm filmmaking
  • Avant-garde and experimental film
  • Expanded cinema
  • Digital videomaking


  • Provost's Award for Excellence in Community-Engaged Scholarship

More Info


Related News Stories