Photographer Sakiko Nomura Lets Snow Envelop Love

Love is ephemeral, just like snow. The series 'sex/snow' brings together a nude male body, intimacy, snow, and their fragile nature.


WordsHenri Robert

“sex/snow”, Sakiko Nomura

Sakiko Nomura is known primarily for her work on male nudes in monochrome, which she began over twenty years ago. Photographs taken in hotel rooms are her trademark, with the plays of light enabling her to capture an intimate portrait. Starting from the topics of love, sexuality, and interactions, her work examines fragility. In 2014, she published sex/snow, a book made up of images of male nudes and snowy landscapes.

The photographer, born in 1967, started out working with Nobuyoshi Araki. In 2013, Sakiko Nomura was awarded the New Figure Encouragement Prize at Photo City Sagamihara.



The black-and-white photographs assembled here, taken between 2009 and 2014, focus on man captured, without being completely revealed, in his environment, a room facing the outside world, one that is harsh, cold, and snowy. In sex/snow, a sense of intimacy is created by the contrast between black and white, with some body parts revealed and others remaining hidden. The same principle can be observed in the exterior photographs, in which the environment beyond the snow-covered areas is barely visible. This tension between the areas, between nudity that is associated with sexuality and another part that is cold and neutral, lies at the heart of the series.

Her images capture love stories of the two making each other certain of their warmth, and snowscapes implying their love would melt away. A sense of fragility and ephemerality of a floating world is portrayed there‘, explains the text accompanying the book. When Pen asked her what her intention was, Sakiko Nomura declared, ‘I thought that I would let Snow envelop Love’, and with regard to the question of how this project came to be, she revealed that it simply came to her when she ‘was taking pictures in the magnificent snowscape.’

For those wishing to venture further into Sakiko Nomura’s work, the series Black Darkness (Kuroyami), published in 2008, brings together nudes, urban landscapes, and still lifes, with the artist playing with the distance between and proximity of her subjects, the environment, and intimacy.


sex/snow (2014), a book of photographs by Sakiko Nomura, is published by LibroArte.

'sex/snow', Sakiko Nomura

'sex/snow', Sakiko Nomura

'sex/snow', Sakiko Nomura

'sex/snow', Sakiko Nomura