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After being rescheduled due to Covid-19, photo festival Kyotographie is finally taking place from September 19th to October 18th. On its 8th edition, the event is hosting ten exhibitions in fourteen different venues, which have been adapted to the situation with the implementation of new health protocols. Under the theme Vision, Kyotographie gathers diverse perspectives because, as the festival’s directors state, “acting alone is no longer an option.”

“In order to change the world, we must first change our vision of it,” say Lucille Reyboz and Yusuke Nakanishi, Co-founders and Directors of Kyotographie. “After all, the world is created by our collective consciousness.” Aiming to contribute to this change of paradigm and vision, the programme of the festival includes exhibitions tackling themes such as discrimination, human vitality, destruction/reconstruction, tradition or history.

One of the main exhibitions is Bento is Ready, by 2019 KG+ Award Grand Prix winner Atsushi Fukushima, who portrayed the elderly he met over ten years while he worked as a bento box delivery man in Kawasaki. “At first, I felt like I was facing death,” he said about the series, “but as I continued shooting over many years, I feel that I was facing life.” Another award-winning photographer, Mari Katayama, is having her first solo show in Japan since 2017. Titled Home Again, and hosted by Shimadai Gallery Kyoto, Katayama’s exhibition features her latest series, In the water, as well as a selection of past works, which focus on self-portraits and explore themes such as disabled bodies, discrimination and self-exploration.

Another unmissable show is One Light, Different Reflections, by Wing Shya, who is the former exclusive photographer and graphic designer for movie director Wong Kar-Wai. The exhibition will showcase Shya’s original work and fashion photography as well as film stills from Kar-Wai’s movies. On another hand, Ryosuke Toyama’s show Leading Light features portraits of twenty young artisans of various traditional crafts that speak about the concept of time. Toyama first took the pictures during his twenties, and ten years later, he portrayed the same subjects again using ambrotype (glass wet plate photography), which he said “felt well-suited to capturing the spirit of artisans who make things by hand.”

But there are more exhibitions and artists you shouldn’t miss, from Pierre-Elie de Pibrac’s series about the dancers of the Paris Ópera, to Omar Victor Diop’s commissioned series portraying shop owners at Demachi Masugata Shopping Arcade in Kyoto, or Marie Liesse’s intimate exploration of blindness.

Arnau Salvadó

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