KYOTOGRAPHIE 2021 international photography festival- ECHO- September 18 – October 17th.

Dear Shaded Viewers,

I was first introduced to KYOTOGRAPHIE international photography festival by my friend Akiko Hamaoka who has been working with the festival for the past few years. It is held in the spring in the ancient city of Kyoto, and is one of the few truly international artistic events taking place in Japan. While honoring its millennium of history and tradition, Kyoto is at the same time a leading light of culture on an international scale.

Valuable collections of photography and works by internationally renowned artists are exhibited in elegant, historic buildings as well as modern architec- tural spaces. Some shows feature the work of traditional artisans, while others highlight collaborations with the most modern technology.

The exhibitions are presented outside the traditional galley format and work in harmony with the spaces in which they reside. Our goal is to present a multifaceted photography festival that cannot be found anywhere else but Kyoto.

The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami was a vivid reminder of the need for solid platforms for communication and cultural exchange between Japan and the rest of the world. Japanese camera and printing technology is legendary, but Japanese photographers still have a long way to go in terms of being recognized for their use of photography as a medium of expression. KYOTOGRAPHIE seeks to explore issues that affect us all through photography while showcasing the incredible talent in Japan and the rest of the world here in Kyoto, a city of both tradition and innovation. In this effort they  have benefited from the assistance of numerous corporations, organizations and individuals, as well as the city, prefectural and national governments. Without this support, KYOTOGRAPHIE would not be possible. Young people, in particular, have the potential to serve as a link between Japan and the rest of the world.


“In 2021, we experienced the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, this coincides with the 10th year since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster. These events culminated with our own unique circumstance and created distinctive echos.

With our present assembled from fragments both understood and imposed, the past decade has been a learning experience for the individual and the human species.

Considering life and memory mirror each other, photography becomes the expression that ulti- mately Echo’s our times.

For the 9th edition we invite artists using a variety of mediums to share their intimate reflection. They reveal the echoes that drove and moved them.

We hope sharing these creations and remembering the story around them will pay tribute to the dignity of those represented and keep us believing in the the power of Humanity.”

Erwin Olaf – The Museum of Kyoto Annex

Born in 1959 in Hilversum, The Netherlands. Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Erwin Olaf is an internationally exhibiting artist whose diverse practice centers around society’s marginalized individuals, including women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. In 2019 Olaf became a Knight of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands after 500 works from his oeuvre were added to the collection of the Rijksmuseum. Taco Dibbits, Rijksmuseum director, called Olaf “one of the most important photographers of the final quarter of the 20th century”. The exhibition will feature the latest works by the Amsterdam-based Dutch artist Erwin Olaf in 2020, making the series’s first debut in Japan. Mainly consist of two major series – the portraits and scenery photography from “Im Wald (in the forest)”, the video and the photography work from “April Fool”. In the series of “Im Wald”, a number of photographs are inspired by Romantic painting from the 19th century in Northern Europe, depicting the indifferent power of nature, the human arrogance towards that same nature and the endless need for displacements, with the enormous consequences thereof. In “April Fool”, Olaf himself became a model being watched by cameras as if it’s a self documentary or a projection of a human being’s daily life during the self-quarantine in a pandemic crisis. In addition to that, a slideshow of the selected representa- tive works over the years will be also presented.

Thomas Dhellemmes- Ryosokuin Temple (Kennin-ji Temple)

Born in 1963 in France, Thomas Dhellemmes lives and works in Paris.

Thomas Dhellemmes has been passionate about photography since his childhood.
After studying visual arts, he went to live in the Cape Verde Islands. When he moved back to Paris, he decided to dedicate himself entirely to photography. He developed personal artistic projects while earning a living by doing photography commissions (lifestyle, gastronomy, luxu- ry…) with Atelier Mai 98, the creative photographic studio he founded.
His creative work began with his Ektachrome photographs that included Un regard sur le Cap- Vert (A look at Cape Verde) (1986-88) and Promenade Silencieuse (Silent Promenade) (1989). He then worked in black and white using Ilford film for Marié(e)s (Brides and Grooms) (1990- 98).
In KYOTOGRAPHIE 2021, in addition to the exhibition of the artworks from Légumineux, live shooting sessions of Japanese ancient vegetables as well as a master class on food photography collaborating with young Kyoto chefs are planned.

Yuna Yagi-Ryosokuin Temple (Kennin-ji Temple)

In 2004, Yuna Yagi graduated from New York Parsons School of Architecture. after working for Shigeru Ban Architects New York,she moved to Berlin in 2007, and then moved to Kyoto in 2010. She pursues the truth of things through the experience of “seeing.” She makes use of the characteristics of photography and creates works and installations that use vision and phenomena.

In recent years, series of a three-dimensional work “It’s One World” (2015), which photos are bound in acrylic blocks, and a “Collapsing World” (2016), which applies algorithms to photos and distorts images. “Space For Prayer” (2017), which considers the Japanese view of life and death from funeral halls in Japan, and “BLANC / BLACK” (2019) on the theme of light and shadow. In 2018, she held a solo exhibition “NOWHERE” at the Pola Museum Annex Ginza. “KYOTOGRAPHIE Kyoto International Photography Festival” Portfolio Review Best Hasselblad Award (2016). Yagi was invited artist for the Paris International Contemporary Photography Art Fair, FOTOFEVER (2017) and was nominated for the Eberhaard Awards in 2019. At DESIGNART 2019, she won the BIG EMOTIONS AWARDS for the exhibition and production of Okurayama Studio with designer Teruhiro Yanagihara.

Ngadi Smart-Demachi Masugata Shopping Arcade


Ngadi Smart is a Sierra Leonean Visual Artist and Designer based between London, U.K and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Her practice comprises of Illustration, Photography and Design. She also works as a Mixed Media artist, primarily in the form of collage art.
In her Illustration work, she is motivated by the representation of minorities, highlighting cul- tural identity and racial discrimination, as well as themes on Feminism and gender roles. She likes to deconstruct mainstream society’s preconceived views of what the definitions of “nor- mal”, “beautiful”, and “right” are.

In her Photography, her focus is documenting cultures, subcultures and intimacy. Recently, she has also been interested in documenting Black sensuality and culture from an African point of view.

Women Artists from the MEP Studio: New perspectives in film and photography from France

curated by Simon Baker supported by Kering

Specially designed for Kyotographie, as part of the “ECHO” season, this exhibition brings to- gether the works of five French young women artists selected by the MEP, (Maison européenne de la photographie) in Paris, in order to reveal the current richness, diversity and originality of emerging french photography and lens-based practices at the crossroads of genres and dis- ciplines. Marguerite Bornhauser, Manon Lanjouère, Adèle Gratacos de Volder and the duo Clothilde Matta & Nina Cholet embody a vibrant artistic scene in France whose practices and aesthetics are characterized by hybridity of the images and a new confidence about approaches to the photographic and filmic image. These multi-faceted talents have in common a keen sense of narrative and a taste for blurring the lines between fictions and the realities from which they are drawn.

Supporting emerging talents is a vital part of the MEP’s mission. In 2018, it created the STUDIO, a new space dedicated to first solo shows of young artists. The MEP is also committed to improving the visibility of women photographers in the artistic scene.

Yingfei Liang KG+ Select 2020 Award Winner


Born in Guangzhou, China. In 2015, Liang joined the Beijing-based media group Caixin Media. As a photojournalist, she covers spot news in China and reports on social minorities. Since 2018, she has been actively involved in the Magnum Foundation’s “Photography Expanded” documen- tary mentorship program. Her multimedia project “Beneath the Scars,” which traces the trau- matic memories and lives of survivors of sexual violence, reveals the truth of the damage caused by sexual violence through a mixture of third-person and first-person spoken accounts. “Beneath the Scars” received the “KG + Award 2020” Grand Prix, and for KYOTOGRAPHIE 2021 will be re-edited and shown using a new approach. In May 2020, Liang traveled to Wuhan, the epicen- ter of the COVID-19 pandemic, to cover the stories of those who have lost family members to the virus. The short film she made, called “Good Morning, My Wife in Heaven,” has been nominated for the World Press Photo Online Video of the Year.

David Shrigley presented by Ruinart

David Shrigley is a British artist whose rudimentary but unmistakable line is used to observe his surroundings with incomparable irony, often accompanied by an absurd and irreverent sentence to challenge us and get our attention. Humour—be it naive or noir—is his instrument of choice and wielded with great precision. While drawing is at the center of his practice, the artist also works across an ex- tensive range of media including sculpture, large-scale installation, animation, painting, photography and music.

Each year, artists receive carte blanche to express their vision of the Maison Ruinart, to share its heritage, savoir-faire and the excellence of its cuvées. His mischievous art sheds a new light on the vine- yard, its heritage and craftsmanship. Shrigley’s sharp eye studies the curious and well-kept secrets of champagne making. Shrigley’s artworks act as a bubbly eye-opener to the environmental concerns that inspire the first Champagne house.

RongRong & inri-Outdoor space of Biwako Sosui Museum and The Keage Incline

RongRong (China) and inri (Japan) have been working together since 2000. Their works reflect the intimate world that they have created together and push the boundaries of traditional black- and-white darkroom tech- niques. Their critically acclaimed series of works, such as Mt. Fuji (2001), Liulitun (1996-2003), and Tsumari Story (2012-2014), reflect their shared life and sur- roundings, delving into the rapidly changing world around them.

In 2007, RongRong & inri established the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in the Beijing arts district Caochangdi. In 2008, they launched the annual Three Shadows Photography Award, a prize aimed at discovering and encouraging China’s most promising young photographers. In 2010, they started a collaboration with the Arles International Photography Festival and co-produced the Caochangdi Photo Spring Festival in Beijing for three years – from 2010 to 2012. They have continued this collaboration at Three Shadows’ Xiamen location, where since 2015 they have co-hosted the Arles x Jimei Festival .

RongRong&inri received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, recognized for both their careers as artists and their significant im- pact on Asian photography.
In KYOTOGRAPHIE 2021, a new series that focus on water in Kyoto is planned to be exhibited.

ECHO 2011 – Nijo-jo Castle Ninomaru Palace Daidokoro Kitchen and Tonan Sumi-yagura (Southeast Watchtower)

Ten years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in 2011.These events and the subsequent nuclear disaster are still effecting Japan today. People are struggling to recover and many of the challenges faced are unabating. These five exhibitions are dedicated to the victims of 3.11.

Atsunobu Katagiri

Born in Osaka in 1973. Flower arrangement artist. In 1997, at the age of twenty-four, Katagiri be- came head of the long-established Misasagi School of ikebana in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. Katagi- ri’s style ranges from traditional ikebana to contemporary artistic approaches, and he collaborates with artists from many different fields.

In 2013-14, Katagiri moved for a year to Minami-Soma in Fukushima Prefecture, where he walked in places deeply scarred by the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, single-mindedly creat- ing flower arrangement from what he found growing there. These he turned into a photo book called “Sacrifice—Dedicated to the Future, Ikebana for Rebirth.” In the winter of 2020 he returned to Fukushima to photograph pillars of a barn that had been chewed on by cows left behind to starve to death when their owner was forced to evacuate due to the nuclear accident. Photographs from this series and from “Sacrifice” will be exhibited in KYOTOGRAPHIE 2021, along with ikebana flower arrangements.


Kazuma Obara curated by Marina Amada

Born in Iwate Prefecture in 1985. Photographer and journalist. Obara graduated in photojournalism from University of the Arts, London. Following the Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011, he quit his job at a leasing company and began photographing areas affected by the tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. He was hired to photograph the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi Power Plant from the inside, culminating in the publication of the photo- book Reset: Beyond Fukushima (Zürich: Lars Müller Publishers, 2012), which documented the Great East Japan earthquake and workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Obara subsequently published a series of exposés focusing on individual victims of war and nuclear disasters, including Silent Histories (2014), a history of Japanese child victims of indiscriminate World War II bombings; Exposure / Everlasting (2015), which recorded the long-term effects of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident; and Bikini Diaries (2016), on the 1954 US hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean that exposed Japanese fishermen to radioactive fallout. He has won numerous international awards, including the World Press Photo Award. In 2020, with a grant from the National Geographic Society of the United States, he was continuing to document the efforts of nurses and caregivers working on the front lines of the corona pandemic. For KYOTOGRAPHIE 2021, two series will be exhibited, one that follows Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant workers in charge of decommissioning the plant, and the other focusing on medical and long-term care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Richard Collasse

Born in France in 1953. Chairman of the Board of Chanel Japan. Since first coming to Japan in 1971, Richard Collasse has become intimately familiar with Japanese culture, publishing six novels in Japan and five in France. In addition to creating his own photographic works, he has contributed to the development of photographic culture in many ways, including supporting KYOTOGRAPHIE from its inception and creating an art space Chanel’s main building in Tokyo to hold photography-related programs.

One month after the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, he visited Tohoku and voluntarily started a make-up service for women called “Smile in Tohoku.” Collasse always carries a camera with him, and he captured the wasteland and sorrow of the Tohoku coastal areas. In March 2012 he published the novel Waves, a testimonial about the trials of the Tohoku residents based on photographs he took and stories he was told by people at the scene of the disaster. This exhibition is a fusion of Collasse’s writing and photography.

Chikuunsai IV Tanabe

Born in Sakai, Osaka, the second son of third-generation bamboo craftsman Tanabe Takeunsai. After graduating from the Department of Sculpture, Faculty of Aesthetics, Tokyo University of the Arts, Chiku’unsai returned to his parents’ home in Sakai where he worked hard to master bamboo crafts under his father Takeunsai. In 2001, he was invited to exhibit his works at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show in the United States. He subsequently held exhibitions around the world, including at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the British Museum, the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts in France, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Based on the idea that “tradition is a challenge,” he continues to produce works with tradition- al objects such as flower vases and tea utensils while also creating installations using bamboo and contemporary objects. His installations in exhibition spaces throughout the world open up new possibilities for bamboo crafts.

Damien Jalet & JR

Damien Jalet
Damien Jalet is a world-class choreographer whose activities go beyond the realm of dance to include visual arts, music, film, theater, and fashion. His work “VESSEL,” created in collaboration with Kohei Nawa, caused a sensation when it premiered in Japan in 2016, and has been performed all over the world. In 2020, with the novel coronavirus rampant, Jalet was invited by the Paris Opera to collaborate with JR, pianist and composer Koki Nakano, and dancer Aimilios Arapoglou to perform “Brise-Lames,” a work for nine dancers. The Paris show was canceled due to the pandemic lockdown, but a video of their performance of “Brise-Lames” will be screened at KYOTOGRAPHIE 2021.

JR is a French photographer and street artist who exhibits on city streets and in slums around the world. He was awarded the TED Prize in 2011, and in the same year started the participatory international art project “Inside Out”; as of March 2021, 420,000 people from 138 countries had taken part in this attention-attracting project. Portraits taken at huge photo booths set up world- wide or sent in by email are reproduced as black-and-white photographs which are pasted up in outdoor spaces all over the world.

Associated Program

LES DRÔLESSES by agnès b.


From May 28 to July 31, 2021, the Gallery MAGNIN-A will present Les Drôlesses, a series of photo- graphs taken by agnès b., in the spring of 2020 during confinement. These images stage two portraits of Claire Tabouret in the springtime decor of agnès’s garden dressed in creations from her personal wardrobe. Throughout the 80 images, Les Drôlesses tells the story of the mischievous and timeless agnès. It tells us about her childhood, the relationship between the designer and the artists and years of creation. She also tells us about a beautiful story of friendship born with André Magnin, thirty-two years ago as well as the admiration she has for the work of Claire Tabouret and some of her artist friends.

This show will exhibit as KYOTOGRAPHIE2021 associated program.



Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.