Choueke Family Residence

South Wall
South Wall
Travel and Exploration
Travel Nostalgia




Man with a Mandolin - 1934


Theme/Style: Modernism, figurative works, landscapes, portraits

Media: Oils, mixed media

Artistic Focus: Koichi Nomiyama’s role as an active member of the art community even under the adverse conditions of his internment during World War II is a testament to his passion and commitment to his painting. The bulk of his career was devoted to a very pure Modernist style, reflected in clean lines, classic subjects, and carefully chosen attractive colors.


Career Highlights

  • Koichi Nomiyama was born on the island of Kyushu, Japan, in 1900.
  • Nomiyama came to the United States in 1920, and in 1926 he enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts.
  • In 1927, Nomiyama participated in the exhibitions of San Francisco’s Sangenshoku Ga Kai (Three Primary Colors Art Group) and Los Angeles’s Shaku-do-sha art association, held at the Kinmon Gakuen (Golden Gate Institute) in San Francisco and the Central Art Gallery in Los Angeles.
  • Nomiyama was also included in San Francisco Art Association exhibitions from the late 1920s through the 1930s, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art inaugural exhibition in 1935.
  • During World War II, from 1942 to 1945, he was interned at the Granada Relocation Center in Amache, Colorado. Nomiyama and fellow artist Tokio Ueyama supervised the center’s art department, where classes were held several times a week for 55 adult students.
  • After the war, Nomiyama lived in New York City, where he exhibited with the City’s Japanese-American Artists Group at the Riverside Museum in 1947, along with Isamu Noguchi, Mine Okubo, Herny Sugimoto, Yaro Yashima, and others.
  • In the 1960s Nomiyama’s paintings were exhibited at the Grete Williams Gallery in San Francisco.
  • In 1974 Nomiyama returned to Japan. His 1934 Self Portrait (Man Holding Mandolin) was pictured in Ayumi: A Japanese American Anthology, which was published in San Francisco in 1980. According to this reference, Nomiyama subsequently returned to the United States, but if so, it is unknown how long he remained there.
  • Koichi Nomiyama passed away in Japan in 1984.
Copyright © 2009 The Choueke Museum. All rights reserved.