HAPPENINGText: Amelia Ijiri

“VISION” was this year’s theme for the annual international photography festival, KYOTOGRAPHIE. Now in its eighth consecutive year, the festival was held on its rescheduled dates from September 19th through October 18th, 2020. Vision called for myopic governments and individual attitudes to consider what society and the environment will look like if we continue making decisions based on profitability and self-interest.

©︎ Takeshi Asano – KYOTOGRAPHIE 2020

In addition to world-known photographers and up-and-coming talent, this year’s festival featured showstopping exhibition designs that highlight harmony and disharmony between the architectural character of various venues: traditional Kyoto architectures, machiya and nagaya rowhouses, government buildings, a 1904 structure that is the oldest working Japanese government building still in its original shape, a temple, galleries in upscale kimono textiles, and obi sash/sake establishments.

Mari Katayama “home again” at SHIMADAI GALLERY KYOTO ©︎ Takeshi Asano – KYOTOGRAPHIE 2020

Shown in SHIMADAI GALLERY KYOTO, Mari Katayama’s large-scale prints of self-exploratory portraits, including both her posing in handsewn fabric prostheses or revealing her amputated legs, brought out the strong lines of this 1608 establishment. These images share her lived experiences as a woman who had her legs removed at age 9 through her journey into motherhood and the feelings of beauty and worth that she discovered in herself. It was a transformative process in a gallery with a rich history.

Elsa Leydier “Heatwave” presented by Ruinart at HOSOO GALLERY ©︎ Takeshi Asano – KYOTOGRAPHIE 2020

Simulating a walk through Ruinart vineyards on a record high-temp setting day, Elsa Leydier’s “Heatwave” used transparent orange plexiglass partitions that angled visitors’ viewpoints of the brightly photographed botanical prints and magenta-colored rayograms (imprints of sunlight on photosensitive paper) displayed in the HOSOO GALLERY, Hosoo Weaving company’s showroom.

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