KYOTOGRAPHIE – Nicolas Bouvier @ Yuuhisai Koudoukan

Dear Diane, Dear Shaded Viewers,

I was in Kyoto this weekend to see KYOTOGRAPHIE which is organized my friend Yusuke Nakanishi and Lucille Reyboz.

The day stated at the curator's talk of Nicolas Bouvier exhibition at Yuuhisai Koudoukan.



Koudoukan was a place of study in Edo period, established by Kien Minagawa in 1806. It was the beginning of private university in Japan. More than 3000 pupils have learned under Kien Minagawa – it is told that one of the most famous Japanese painter, Okyo Maruyama has learned here. Koudoukan was almost destroyed to build a high rise apartment some years ago, but barely in time it was saved by the people who are interested in conserving the historical venues in Kyoto.

At Koudoukan, the photography of Nicolas Bouvier are displayed harmonically with the atomosphere of Koudoukan.



Yusuke Nakanishi, the co-founder of KYOTOGRAPHIE told me that it was not too easy to find the way to display photos in traditional Japanese house as the normal frames do not much the texture of Japanese traditional house. The exhibition at Kodoukan was designed by Oliver Franz, the space designer who is happened to be also Swiss (Nicolas Pouvier was Swiss, too). Oliver created the back panels of the photos and a small rocking display table which were made by paylownia wood.   



This table does not use any screws and it can be easily constracted and stored. It reminded me the old writing table we used to use. The hight and the inclination may remind me that.

Nicolas Bouvier is known as a world traveller and writer – it is not too known that he has spent quite a lot of time in Japan. He left about 10,000 photos and 90% of his photos were taken in Japan. This is the first exhibition of Nicolas which is focused on his work in Japan.


You can see his featured film of Budo dance and Nicolas's interview, too. Nicolas is one of the first non Japanese people who introduced Budo dance outside of Japan.


There was a talk by the journalist Oliver Bauer, the curator Christine Cibert and the space designer Oliver Franz. Oliver Bauer is the author of Le Vent des Mots – the documentary film of Nicolas Bouvier's last few weeks before he passed away in 1998.

After the talk we had a very nice tea ceremony.


Found a smiley after my green tea 🙂

I visited some other venues – more follows this evening.

KYOTOGRAPHIE is up until 6 May – you SHOULD really go – it is worth visiting x I will go back next weekend.