Yurie Nagashima rose to national fame in Japan after receiving the second annual Urbanart award hosted by the Parco Gallery in Tokyo in 1993 for a series of photographs depicting herself and her family in the nude. Nagashima was nominated for the award by Nobuyoshi Araki, one of Japan's best known photographers. At the time, Nagashima was still a student at Musashino Art University in Tokyo from where she graduated in 1995 with a BA in visual communication design. In 1995, Nagashima had a two-person exhibition with the American photographer Catherine Opie at the Parco Gallery, Tokyo. Following this encounter with Opie, Nagashima embarked on a MFA at the California Institute of the Arts under her tutelage.
Nagashima has published numerous important photography monographs that deal with the family, gender, identity and sexuality. In the West, Nagashima has been compared to American photographer Nan Goldin. In at times provocative photographs, Nagashima has tested public perceptions on obscenity and censorship in Japan. Since 2000 to 2014, Nagashima was represented by the gallery SCAI the Bathhouse in Tokyo, where she had numerous solo and group exhibitions. In addition to her work as a photographer and photography tutor, Nagashima has published (as Senaka no kioku, meaning "Memories of a back") a series of biographical stories from her childhood in 2009.
In August 2014, Nagashima was a Master at the International Summer School of Photography, in Latvia. She led a workshop titled 'Photography as a Subversive Tactic: Being the Other'.
Nagashima is currently represented by MAHO KUBOTA GALLERY in Tokyo where she had the most recent exhibition "about home".
Nagashima Yurie Photobook, Fuga, Tokyo, 1995. ISBN 4-89424-059-9.
Empty White Room (), Little More, Tokyo, 1995. ISBN 4-947648-17-1.
Kazoku () / A Family, Korinsha Press, Kyoto, 1998. ISBN 4-7713-0334-7.
Pastime Paradise, Madra, Tokyo, 2000. ISBN 4-944079-23-0.
not six, Switch, Tokyo, 2004. ISBN 4-88418-014-3.
Senaka no Kioku (), Kodansha, Tokyo, 2009. ISBN 978-4-06-215896-1.
Swiss, Akaaka, Tokyo, 2010. ISBN 4-903545-59-8.
5 comes after 6, MATCH and Company, Tokyo, 2014.
2015 5 Comes After 6 UTRECHT, Tokyo
2011 What I was supposed to see and what Isaw 1223 GENDAIKAIGA, Tokyo
2010 SWISS SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, viewing space, Tokyo
2007 a box named flower lammfromm, Tokyo
2005 Her Projects memories of no one KIRIN PLAZA OSAKA, Osaka
2004 Candy Horror SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo
2004 not six NADiff, Tokyo
2000 PASTIME PARADISE SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo
1999 I want to be your power California Institute of the Arts, California
1994 Nagashima Yurie - A Room of Love- P-House Gallery, Tokyo