Nomachi: Soul Lands

Una ragazza nomade con il volto cosparso di una sostanza protettiva durante un pellegrinaggio Tibet, Cina 1990

Japanese photographer Kazuyoshi Nomachi in Monza

This exhibit invites everybody on a magical trip from the cradle of European culture to the landscapes where nature is king. It would seem an impossible mission to truly capture life in the poor areas along the Ganges, in the extremities of the Nile, or in an isolated corner of the Andes but Japanese photographer Kazuyoshi Nomachi succeeds. His playful photography bridges the distances to record both the beauty and opposition of these many different worlds.

Nomachi’s Soul lands is the artist’s largest anthological exhibition. With approximately 200 shots, the path of the exhibition, divided into 7 sections, tells us about the journey of a lifetime  through the sacredness in  everyday life, an experience lived by the artist in far distant lands, but linked by that spirituality giving a rhythm and a sense to the harshest conditions. Only Nomachi is able to grasp this spirituality in landscapes of unique and amazing beauty, where portraits and human beings acquire an absolute dignity blending themselves with the environment in almost pictorial compositions, controlled by a dazzling light, real and transcendental at the same time. A surprising set up, designed by Peter Bottazzi, offers the visitors a fascinating and captivating path.


Un ragazzo attraversa una valle di dune
Kerzaz, Algeria 1972

Sahara. “The power of Sahara does not only come from the hugeness of its space. Up to a few thousand years ago, it was a wet area, as the images of life and animals carved 8.000 years ago in the rock of the mountain areas tell us. When in 1972 I first visited Sahara, I was literally conquered. When I went back there, I perceived its true nature, barely visible, as if hidden behind a veil”.


Un accampamento di allevatori nella notte mentre sorge la luna piena
Jonglei, Sudan del Sud 2012

Nile. “I was thirty-four years old, in October 1980, when I began to explore the lands along the Nile. In southern Sudan, I found a tribe of shepherds living in close contact with a herd of cattle, as in prehistoric times. After thirty-two years, their way of life has remained basically the same, including the habit of sprinkling upon themselves the ashes of animals’ dung in order to find protection from insects”.


Un giovane diacono legge la Sacra Bibbia
Lalibela, Etiopia 1997

Ethiopia. “Ethiopia alternates steep highlands to semi-desertic areas where there are 83 ethnic groups. In an isolated plateau, surrounded by the “Islamic sea” of the scorching desert, a Christian culture survived, bequeathed from the first centuries after Christ. In those troubled mountains I could visit rocky churches and monasteries where the faithful still keep on presenting offerings as in the Bible’s time”.


I pellegrini partecipano alla funzione della Notte del Destino (Laylat al-Qadr), il 27° giorno del Ramadàn. La celebrazione commemora la rivelazione del Corano al Profeta
La Mecca, Arabia Saudita 1995

Islam. “The Islamic faith, teaching the devotion to one God, Allah, was founded in the seventh century by Muhammad. Among the basic obligations prescribed by the Koran, there is the pilgrimage to Mecca, where the Kaaba stands. I had the privilege to photograph it thanks to the invitation of a Saudi editor. The Shiite Muslims are concentrated in Iran, whose faith is affected by the religion of ancient Persia”.


Partenza per il pellegrinaggio di Pancha Koshi, che comprende la visita a cinque templi dedicati a Shiva e ubicati nelle vicinanze di Benares
Benares, India 2005

Ganges. “The Ganges is born in the Himalayan glaciers and flows into the plains of India up to the Bay of Bengal. Its waters, linked to the cult of Shiva, washes away the sins of those who dip themselves in and helps them be reborn in the sky. The river water also frees from the sufferings of reincarnation those who spread their own ashes in it. I visited various holy sites, including many of them lining its shores, constantly crowded by pilgrims”.


Durante la celebrazione del Lhabab Duchen, i pellegrini camminano intorno a una collina sulla quale si erge uno stupa
Tibet, Cina 1991

Tibet. “My first trips to Tibet dates back to the end of the 80’s. Tibetans are devoted to Buddhism, revisited upon a strong sense of their own. Western people are turning more and more to tibetan Buddhism for the gentle optimism that characterizes it. The equality among human beings is also recognized taking in consideration even the extreme environmental conditions of Tibet”.


Uomini con la maschera, chiamati Ukuku (“orsi”).
Qoyllur Ritti, Perù 2004

Andes. “Before the discovery of Christopher Columbus, in the Andean plateau  an original civilization had developed. The Andean people were largely converted to Christianity, but they managed to mix into the new religion the elements of their traditional beliefs. The appearance of Jesus on a peak in the Peruvian Andes is the reason for the pilgrimage of Qoyllur Erect, which I witnessed in 2004”.

May 30th to November 8th, 2015


Reggia di Monza – Villa Reale Serrone

Viale Brianza, 2


Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am – 7 pm

Friday: 10 am – 10 pm

Closed on Monday


Tickets: € 10 (€8 reduced)


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