As a teen in Japan, Nishimura fell hard for British punk - the Sex Pistols & Siouxie and the Banshees - and began to dream of moving to London. After training as a hairdresser in Tokyo, she finally moved to the city of her dreams to work for Vidal Sassoon. " I met student photographers who wanted me to do hair for them, but they didn’t have anyone to do makeup, so I offered to do both," she reminisces in an interview with Hunger TV. "I had no experience – I was just testing with them – but soon I realised that I enjoyed makeup more than hair. It's been 13 or 14 years now – I don't ever touch the hair!"
Instead, she now channels her creativity into editorial makeup, where glitter and gardenias (and other fantastic flora) often make a glamorous appearance, along with roses (her fave flower), animal prints and shiny, metallic-insect textures. Which inspired a new collaboration on display at the Annroy Gallery (110-114 Grafton Road) from July 26th - mid-September, 2012. "When Rankin suggested doing a book together, I immediately started doing a lot of research - I always do. I studied photography, fashion, illustration, African art, nature, animals, painting, music - everything, really. I found myself fascinated by the idea of a cyber theme and accumulated lots of different ideas based on that."
And two years later, *Ayami Nishimura By Rankin" finally made its debut, a fun & fearless new book about beauty. "Beauty is a moment," she adds. "Beauty is when something happens beyond your plans or expectations and creates those magic moments."
AYAMI NISHIMURA by Rankin is distributed in the UK by Turnaround, priced £40, www.turnaround.-uk.com.
- Lesley Scott