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Gallery

With a darkened house, precisely placed mirrors, and the occasional judicious cut in a wall, light becomes sculpture in James Nizam’s series of photographs, “Trace Heavens.”

In “Trace Heavens,” Vancouver’s James Nizam uses mirrors and perforated walls—even a specially modified room in an abandoned house—to capture stunning patterns of light. His photographs render the shapes almost touchable. It’s easy, in Nizam’s work, to imagine light itself being solid material.

James Nizam is a visual artist living and working in Vancouver, Canada. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BFA in 2002 and has since shown his work extensively across Canada, the U.S., and Europe. His work explores photography in an expanded field of operations where performance, sculpture, and conceptual concerns engage with site and architecture. He is represented by Birch Libralato (Toronto) and Gallery Jones (Vancouver).

All images © copyright the artist, all rights reserved.

The Morning News:

Is art worth the trouble?

James Nizam:

Always.

The Morning News:

How much do you sleep per night?

James Nizam:

Not much lately.

The Morning News:

Any architects you admire for their use of light?

James Nizam:

Peter Zumthor’s chapel works.

The Morning News:

How many homes have you had?

James Nizam:

Six: Bedfordshire, England; Borneo, Brunei; Muscat, Oman; Beruit, Lebanon; Vancouver, Canada; Berlin, Germany.

The Morning News:

Well, where haven’t you been that you’d like to go?

James Nizam:

Roden Crater.

The Morning News:

What does the word “spiritual” mean to you?

James Nizam:

Abstract sublime.

The Morning News:

What is the worst type of light?

James Nizam:

The light in a 7-11.

The Morning News:

What quality do you admire in children?

James Nizam:

Their sense of wonderment.

The Morning News:

Favorite body of water?

James Nizam:

My bathtub

The Morning News:

Donald Judd supposedly said, “The work isn’t the point; the piece is.” Do you agree?

James Nizam:

No.

The Morning News:

What’s your most common fear?

James Nizam:

A studio fire.

The Morning News:

How long do projects interest you?

James Nizam:

Until they never reach perfection.

The Morning News:

What does that mean?

James Nizam:

As long as they keep on giving.

The Morning News:

What do you receive from collaboration that solo work doesn’t provide?

James Nizam:

Objectivity.

The Morning News:

What are you working on now?

James Nizam:

More light works.

The Morning News:

Do you have a favorite form of transportation?

James Nizam:

Teleportation.

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded The Morning News. He is the author of Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down and You Lost Me There. His next novel is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. More information can be found at his website. More by Rosecrans Baldwin