James Nizam is a Vancouver artist known for intriguing, elegant compositions of discarded materials. For early series such as Dwellings (2006) and Anteroom (2007), he occupied soon-to-be-demolished buildings and turned the empty rooms into camera obscura. The gorgeous colour photographs showed inverted images of the outside world on the unhinged doors and broken walls.
He then turned to more formal photographs of abandoned sofas, suitcases, socks, toys, tools and cookware, and lit the scenes with flashlights. These evolved into photographs of found materials which became the Memorandoms series (2010). Nizam arranged discarded building materials, furniture and found objects like dresser drawers, lightbulbs, chairs and door handles into sculptural assemblages inside abandoned rooms.
New work in Trace Heavens shows light sculptures installed in empty rooms. Throughout the series, James manipulates sunlight to illuminate the room. In most cases mirrors are used to direct the light beams into sculptural forms. In the piece Shard, James cut a sliver out of the roof to allow the light to enter at a specific place. The photos that document the works are large, beautiful, black-and-white silver gelatin prints on fibre-based paper printed in Los Angeles at one of the last labs to process large-scale silver gelatin prints.
Nizam earned his BFA at UBC in 2002. Recent exhibitions include Birch Libralato Gallery (Toronto), Kathleen Cullen Fine Art and Michael Mazzeo Gallery (New York), Art Mûr (Montreal), Griffen Photography Museum (Boston), and Scalo|Guye (Los Angeles).