By Cathy Cawood
Are you planning to visit Kyoto in spring? With 'hanami season' just around the corner, the historic city is getting ready to celebrate nature's beauty.
'KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival' is a photographic event presented annually in Kyoto during the height of the spring tourist season. In 2015, KYOTOGRAPHIE will present its 3rd edition (April 18th—May 10th), exhibiting 14 Japanese and international photographers, at 15 of Kyoto’s historic and contemporary architectural spaces, some of which have never been opened to the public.
KYOTOGRAPHIE is an art event created by artists for artists. Co-Founders, Yusuke Nakanishi and Lucille Reyboz, have created a platform for people of all ages and backgrounds that creates opportunities and at the same time educates. In 2014, through hard work the KYOTOGRAPHIE team managed to organize an event that attracted around 40,000 visitors from across Japan and overseas.
After successfully incorporating the theme Our Environments in 2014, this year KYOTOGRAPHIE will present [TRIBE - What’s Your Story?]. The festival aims to invite visitors to think outside the box. What is a tribe and what makes us want to be part of one? Crossing the globe in search of the places where people meet, engage and form special relationships, this year’s exhibitions will start their journey from the past celebrating indigenous cultures, and history. The final destination will be the modern society while exploring issues that people face in their daily lives. It seems like an open invitation to investigate what it means to belong both as a choice and as matter of circumstance.
With a prime goal to make photography stand out as a medium as well as celebrate the beauties that the old capital has to offer, the festival uses unconventional spaces and transforms them into venues that will host the artworks such as temples, shrines, teahouses, and breathtaking gardens. Through collaborations with talented artisans, artists and architects, the festival presents scenography unique to each exhibition and created specifically for the venue space.
This year's innovative photographers and their venues are:
- National Photographic Collections of Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts/ Toraya Kyoto Gallery
- Lucas Foglia/ Yuuhisai Koudoukan
- Martin Gusinde/ Kyoto City Hall open square
- Roger Ballen/ Comme des Garçons Kyoto and Horikawa Oike Gallery
- Francis Wolf/ Shimadai Gallery Kyoto
- Noh Suntag/ Gallery Sugata
- Marc Riboud/ Kondaya Genbei Kurogura
- Yusuke Yamatani/ Mumeisha
- Kimiko Yoshida/ Noguchi Residence, Karaku-an
- RongRong&Inri/ Ryosokuin (Kenninji temple)
- Oliver Sieber/ Asphodel
- Fosco Maraini/ Traditional building in Gion Shinbashi (Pass the Baton Kyoto Gion/ Opening in summer 2015)
- Louis Jammes/ SferaExhibition
- Baudoin Mouanda/ Murakamijyu Building
The last two years the festival has been trying to educate through its Public Programs, aimed at a diverse audience. These programs consist of live performance events, in conversation events, workshops, a portfolio review, educational programs and opportunities to meet the artists. One of this year’s highlights is a Masterclass in partnership with the International Center of Photography (ICP) New York, giving aspiring photographers and festival participants the opportunity to personally meet and network with a wide range of professionals from the photography industry.
KG+ is a satellite festival which runs concurrent to Kyotographie and features the work of local, national and international photographers. Get ready for some interesting exhibitions and stimulating events, in multiple venues from galleries or temples to gallery cafés around Kyoto City
If you wish to discover Kyoto during spring and you’re interested in art, then the festival's promising program will offer you an interesting way to do so through a photographic journey.
Postscript - The 2016 festival will be held from Apr 23 to May 22, with the theme, "circle of life".
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Hi! My name is Christie and I’m a journalist/blogger. Originally from Athens, Greece but living in Stockholm, Sweden I’m doing my Masters in Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University. For one year I’ll be living and traveling around Japan in search of new challenges and experiences. I am a Japan, dance and life enthusiast. I believe in traveling, positive energy and the power of ice-cream. I love telling stories. Stories are not only for children but for adults too! In my world stories can be told with words, photos and videos. What do I do? I photograph and video shoot as I go. Basically my everyday life could be summed up in an endless series of pictures. I believe that photographs and videos are all about story-telling. Recreating real life inspired stories through my photographs, videos and texts is what inspires me the most and keeps me going.