Kyotographie 2022
Photo: © The Guy Bourdin Estate 2022/Courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery

Guide to Kyotographie 2022: featured photographers, exhibitions, tickets and more

Kyoto’s month-long international photo festival will also showcase female and emerging photographers

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

It’s a big year for Kyotographie: the international photography festival is celebrating its tenth year of showcasing esteemed photographers from around the world in some of Kyoto’s most compelling venues.

Set to run from April 9 to May 8, this year’s edition of Kyotographie, which features 10 exhibitions, is centred around the concept of ‘One’. This core theme has roots in Japanese Buddhist philosophies that emphasise the way each individual is part of a larger whole.

There’s a lot of ground to cover at this month-long event in Japan’s former capital. Here’s everything you need to know about this venerable celebration of diversity and talented photographers from across the world.  

Kyotographie 2022
Photo: © Maïmouna Guerresi, Courtesy Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

World-class photographers

Border restrictions and the plight of the Covid-19 pandemic complicated the participation of some international photographers in the last two editions of Kyotographie. With the recent ease in border restrictions, however, this year’s Kyotographie (knock on wood) can push ahead with its intended programme.

The array of works to be exhibited are stunning, featuring master contemporary photographers by the likes of Italian-Senegalese multimedia artist Maïmouna Guerresi and French photographer Guy Bourdin. The latter is known for his provocative approach to fashion photography.

While the lineup comprises a number of celebrated names whose careers stretch over decades, the festival doesn’t overlook the younger generation of emerging photographers. The vibrant portraits hung along the ceiling of the Demachi Masugata Shopping Arcade, for instance, were all shot using an iPhone by 26-year-old Ghanaian artist Prince Gyasi

Aside from the showcases of contemporary photographers, look out for a rare exhibition at the Kyoto City Museum of Art Annex featuring the works of Irving Penn curated from the collection of MEP, Paris.

Kyotographie 2022
Photo: Momo Okabe, ILMATAR, 2020 ©︎ Momo Okabe

Celebrating Japanese women photographers

For the 10th anniversary of the festival, Kyotographie organisers have decided to host a special programme dedicated to celebrating 10 Japanese women photographers and their experiences in this challenging industry. 

Curated by Kyotographie co-founders Lucille Reyboz and Yusuke Nakanishi alongside photography historian Pauline Vermare, each of the photographers demonstrate vastly different approaches to the medium and their subjects. Among the names to be featured at Kyoto’s Hosoo Gallery are Momo Okabe and Hideka Tonomura, whose electrifying snapshots of their often nude subjects explore human intimacy and connection. Meanwhile, Kyoto-born Ariko Inaoka will be exhibiting her surreal collection of landscapes shot in Iceland.  

Kyotographie 2022
Photo: Tears of Sirens © Samuel Bollendorff


In addition to its photography exhibitions, the festival will also feature a series of events for the wider public to participate in. Highlights include an intimate masterclass with French photographer Samuel Bollendorff and a series of panel discussions with special guests such as the 2020 World Press Photo winner Yasuyoshi Chiba 

Kyotographie 2022
Photo: Naoyuki OginoHosoo Gallery

Passport tickets and venues

The festival spans 10 venues in total, including historical sites such as Kennin-ji Temple as well as public spaces like the Demachi Masugata Shopping Arcade. Eight of these places require tickets for access, but a ¥5,000 passport (¥3,000 for students) will grant you entry to all 10 exhibitions. You can purchase the passes online here. Note that there is a ¥500 discount for those who purchase the passport by Friday April 8. 

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