Category Archives: Art

BRDG presents “117 -one one seven” “Ghost House Gone House” @ Urbanguild; 10/23


Our friend Bridget Scott writes…

I’d like to tell you about a performance that I have been involved in. It began with me being interviewed by Keiko Yamaguchi,the director of a Kyoto based theatre group BRDG. The first question she asked me was, “Tell me about the house you grew up in.” After two hours, she declared it could be the starting point of a play. Yamaguchi also interviewed my aged father in London. The story emerged by weaving these two interviews together. Now three years later, we – that’s BRDG( Keiko Yamaguchi, Tatsunori Imamura and Hiromi Demura actors and Toru Koda as sound technician) have just returned from performing the resulting piece “117-one-one-seven” in London, in the same neighbourhood as the house.

On Sunday 23rd October, we shall transform Urbanguild into a theatre space and perform 2 shows, a matinee and evening performance at 3pm and 8pm.

It is a double double bill with London based music duo, RABBIT who will improvise music to video of the same crumbling Victorian house.

Be warned this show will stimulate your senses, including your sense of smell and taste. It touches on issues of being a foreigner in Japan, amongst many other hearty topics. It is bilingual.

Urbanguild will be NO SMOKING and NO FOOD WILL BE SERVED on 23rd October. This will enable the audience to hear the spoken word and enjoy the smells generated by the performance.

More information in English:

FaceBook link:


This production has been funded by DAIWA and SASAKAWA FOUNDATIONS and crowdfunding and blood sweat and tears of BRDG theatre company.


Vent & Eau – A Concert by Yannick Paget

Yannick Paget will conduct an original concert “Voice of 風水” for La Nuit Blanche at Kyoto Art Center on October 1st from 16.00 – 17.30.


Here’s Yannick with some background to the piece:

“It was an exciting challenge to start the new KAC’s cycle “listening to the voice of Feng shui”, especially in a town like Kyoto that had a minister of Feng Sui for so many years and that incarnate the rules of Feng Sui. I tried in my piece “Vent et Eau” to catch the spirit of this science. Feng shui regulates our environment to produce balance and harmony; it allies poetry and science, spirituality and rationality, using many different tools.

I didn’t explore in this piece all of them but I choose to highlight the feng shui compass Which organize elements, direction and seasons and the magic square that forms the foundation of many feng shui tools and calculations.

The 5th elements:
“Vent et eau” is the French translation of the kanjis風and 水, the two main element of the feng shui. They appear first in this piece introduction because the wind and the water disperse and stop all energies on earth. Then, I worked with the 5th elements as such dissimilar musical substances that have to find a unity and an harmony.
Each element is associated to a group of instruments and succeeds in the cycle of birth order, each one giving birth and nourishing the following one: Earth (strings), Metal (brass), Water (harp, piano), Wood (clarinet, flute), Fire (percussions)
The final evokes, the « shi » or the « ki », with fusion and harmony

To associate each element to a direction, all instruments are spatialized;
Earth (strings): CENTER, Metal (brass): WEST, Water (harp, piano): NORTH Wood (clarinet, flute): EST, Fire (percussions): SOUTH

Seasons are interposed as a link connecting each element.
That way, ruff non-human & mineral material also alternates with human life and the rhythms of seasons. The singers, to express the season and this human life sing text extract from the timelessness haikus from Basho.

The magic square in which all numbers add to 15 in all directions
I used It for the rhythms with cycle of 15 bits and combination like 7 /5 /3: (3/2/2) (3/2) (3).
I worked with Modes of limited transposition compiled by the French composer Olivier Messiaen. They are musical modes or scales that fulfill specific criteria relating to their symmetry and the repetition of their interval groups.
In the final, I choose the Mode of limited transposition number 3. It includes 9 notes each of them being assigned to a number. Then I could generate chords of 3 notes using the magic square.”

– Yannick Paget September 2016

For more information please visit the Kyoto Art Center website at

“To The Village Square” – An Evening with Photographer Lionel Delevingne

Here’s a message from Lionel Delevingne about an event tomorrow night!


Friday, September 30th
7pm 〜9pm

at Impact Hub Kyoto

Lionel Delevingne will be at Impact Hub Kyoto to present and speak about the photographic images from his book “To The Village Square”, with comments from Aileen Mioko Smith of Green Action (Kyoto). We look forward to a lively discussion with audience and speakers.

To the Village Square
From Montague to Fukushima: 1975- 2014

Retracing the birth of the safe energy movement starting in Montague, Massachusetts in 1974 through Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima.

“To the village square we must carry the facts of atomic energy.
From there must come America’s voice.”
Albert Einstein, June 1946

Place: Impact Hub Kyoto
Nishijin IT ro-ji building ,97 Kainokamicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto
(Just west of Aburanokoji and Nakadachiuri intersection.)
Enter from the gate at west side of building next to pay phone.
Phone: 075-417-0115

English / Japanese interpreting.
All Welcome.
No reservation required.
Admission Free
Green Action
E-mail: info[at]

The 7th Kyoto Photo Walk with Javier Montano!

It’s happening again! Wait – I think I recognize these two…


Here’s our friend Javier Montano with the details:

The 7th Kyoto Photo Walk:

– Meet new friends and learn about photography in beautiful Fushimi-inari Taisha.

– All you need is a camera or a smartphone

– Let’s Take the biggest selfie in Kyoto!

– Please register now, It is FREE! You have 2 options:

Join just the photo walk or
Join the photo walk and the after party at a Japanese izakaya for food and drinks (about 3.000 Yen per person which is paid on the day of the event).


Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?

No. Anyone can come. If you can walk and go up stairs you can come!

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

Your options:

– Come by train to Fushimi-Inari Station (伏見稲荷駅 Fushimi-Inari-eki) a railway station located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, on the Keihan Electric Railway Keihan Main Line.

– Come by train by JR Inari Station, the second station from Kyoto Station along the JR Nara Line.

– Buses are available too but it depends where are you coming from.

What can I bring to the event?

Please bring a camera. Any camera will do. Other gear such as tripods are welcomed as well.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Send me a message at

When: Sunday, September 25, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (JST) – Add to Calendar

Where: Fushimi-Inari Station – Fushimi Ward, Kyoto Prefecture 612-0007

Register here: Kyoto Photowalk (7th!)

The 6th Kyoto Photo Walk with Javier Montaño

Here’s our friend, Javier Montaño, with news of The 6th Kyoto Photo Walk. All queries regarding this event should be sent directly to Javier at


Date & Time: 24 April at 14:00–19:00
Meeting Place: Takaragaike Park, 国際会館駅 , Kokusai-Kaikan-eki. In front of Entrance No. 3 (train station on Subway Karasuma Line), Kyoto, JP

Spring has come and it’s time to shoot again- Meet new friends and learn about photography in beautiful Kyoto.- All you need is a camera or a smartphone- Let’s Take the biggest selfie in Kyoto!- The Photowalk is FREE of charge but you have 2 options:

Join just the photowalk or
Join the photowalk and the afterparty at a Japanese Izakaya for food and drinks (3000 Yen per person which is paid on the day of the event).

1. How do I make a reservation?
Easy! Go to the Eventbrite Photowalk event page. Click on “Register”. Select one of the 2 options: the photowalker ticket or the photowalker + afterparty ticket.
2. What if it rains?
We photograph in rain. In the event that there is a weather cancellation because of a Typhoon or something similar, I will do my best to contact and let you know. If, however, you are unsure, feel free to call or text 090-9889-1640 to see if the photowalk is still running.
3. What if I don’t have a DSLR or PRO camera?
It does not matter. Any camera will do!
4. What should I bring besides my camera?
Enthusiasm to meet new people. Friends or family are also fun to bring with you.
Dress appropriately for the weather, as we will be outside for the most part.
A tripod could be handy too, but it is not indispensable.
A bottle of water is a good idea too.
5. Where do we meet?
In front of Entrance No. 3 of the station at 2 PM
6.How long are the photowalks?
Normally they will last until around 6:30 PM or 7:00 PM. After that, we will move on to the afterparty.
7. Is everyone in the group at the same skill level?
Not at all! People come with different levels of photography experience but we all learn from each other.
8. How do you accept payment?
The photowalk is and will always be free! During the after party we will start receiving cash in order to pay for the food and drinks served.
9. Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Send me an email at
Remember, the photowalk is and will always be free!

Kyotographie 2016 – Masterclass & Tour

Kyotographie is Kyoto’s annual international photography festival, this year being held at various venues around the city from April 23rd Sat to May 22nd. In addition to the regular exhibitions and events, this year there will also be a tour and a masterclass. Find out more below!

Shinichi Suzuki II, Tea Ceremony, 1880’s © MNAAG.

Shinichi Suzuki II, Tea Ceremony, 1880’s © MNAAG.

Kyotographie Tour

This full day tour costs 7,000 yen.

“For its fourth edition, April 23rd – May 22nd, 2016 KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival returns with 14 exhibitions, in 15 venues with two associated programs. These major exhibiting artists are presented inside historical buildings (Old tea houses, tradtional artisan buildings, temples and garden). This year theme is « CIRCLE OF LIFE ». The Festival, with more than 60,000 visitors last year, is now considered a major international artistic event in Asia, gathering both photography lovers, professionals and the general public. We offer you an intimate chance to discover a selection of KYOTOGRAPHIE exhibitions. The KYOTOGRAPHIE passport (included in the visit fee) gives you access to all the exhibitions.”

To find out more about the tour please visit the Japan Experience website.

Kyotographie Masterclass: DREAMS TO REALITY
With Arno Rafael Minkkinen

Fosters Pond, 1989 ©Arno Rafael Minkkinen courtesy PUG OSLO

Fosters Pond, 1989 ©Arno Rafael Minkkinen courtesy PUG OSLO

“Improve or find your personal visual language and style. Developing a personal & recognisable style is key to photographic practice, it also allows a photographer to change subject matter, maintaining identity.
Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a Finnish-­‐American photographer, educator, curator, and writer with over 100 solo shows and nearly 200 group exhibitions in galleries and museums worldwide.”

Date : April 23rd 10:00-12:00*
25th, 26th 9:00-17:00
Fee : 20,000JPY (tax inclusive)
Venue : Ryosokuin (Kenninji Temple)
Language : English with Japanese translation
Inquiries :

For application details please visit this page:

To find out more about the various exhibitions and events, you can visit the official website or download a presskit.

Miksang Contemplative Photography; Kyoto Workshop: May 4th – 15th 2016

Thanks to Lisa Allen for sharing the following course information:


Photo by Julie DuBose

Kyoto Journal and The Miksang Institute are co-hosting a special ten-day intensive Miksang Contemplative Photography workshop in Kyoto from May 4-15, 2016.

The course will be taught by teachers, Michael Wood and Julie DuBose, and will include the first three levels in the Miksang training curriculum: Opening the Good Eye, Making Contact, and The Heart Of Perception.

Instruction will be in English with Japanese translation. Cost for the entire 10-day course is $1000 USD. The workshop will be held at Kyoto International Community House. This special workshop will begin Wednesday evening, May 4th and end at 5:00pm on May 15th, 2016. Monday May 9th will be a day off.

For more information, please email:

For more workshop details and registration information:

What is Miksang?

Miksang is a form of contemplative photography that asks us to see our world in a new way. In some ways it seems very simple, but it is not always easy.

If we can place our mind’s attention, our awareness, in our sense of sight, we will see vivid, mind stopping perceptions fully and completely, without distraction. And when that happens, we can connect with what we see deeply and intimately.

This requires stillness of mind, patience, and the desire to really see what is there, so that we can understand how to express what we are seeing with our camera simply and precisely.

Miksang is photography in which we use the camera to express our visual perceptions exactly as we experience them. Because we know how to prepare ourselves to receive perceptions when we see them, and we know how to understand exactly what we have seen, we then know exactly how to express what we have seen with our camera. The resulting image is an exact expression of our eye, mind, and heart as it connects with the perception.

Miksang means ‘Good Eye’ in Tibetan. We all have a Good Eye as part of our human makeup. This means we have the ability to see the world in a pure way, without overlays of meaning and value, pleasure, dislike, or disinterest.

When we can see with our Good Eye, the world is always fresh, because everything we see is as for the first time. There is no memory, no association, only the world manifesting to us, as it is, out of nowhere.

These perceptions are vibrant and vivid, pulsating with life. The visual world is our feast, our playground.

Seeing in this way brings us joy in being alive.

Through our images we can express our experience of seeing. Our photographs will carry within them our heart, our mind, the blood of our experience.

Geiko & Maiko of Kyoto by Robert van Koesveld now on sale at Maruzen Bookstore

Last week I was very happy to catch up with photographer Robert van Koesveld while he was in town. Robert was kind enough to give me a copy of his new book, “Geiko & Maiko of Kyoto” which he self-published after an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign.


If you are at all interested in the world of geiko and maiko then I would happily recommend this book. Robert’s beautiful photography and insightful text provides a wonderful pictorial guide to the world of Kyoto’s geisha. And I particularly like the part of the book that also introduces those people who work behind the scenes; the footwear makers for instance, the kimono artists, and the shamisen teacher etc…

Robert and his book in Maruzen bookstore.

Robert and his book in Maruzen bookstore.

Pop into Maruzen bookstore in Kyoto now, and you will see a large display of Robert’s books close by the Maruzen Cafe. Several of his images are also featured on posters there, to give you an idea of the contents of the book. Take a look. I’m sure you’ll be tempted.

Useful links: Geiko & Maiko of Kyoto
Robert van Koesveld Photography
(always) Learning to See: A photography blog by Robert van Koesveld

Utagawa Hiroshige’s Journey – 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō Exhibition at Museum “Eki” Kyoto

If you haven’t see it yet, the exhibition of ukiyo-e woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige now on at the Museum “Eki” Kyoto is really well worth a visit.


During the Edo period, the Tōkaidō was a major land route between Edo (now Tokyo) and Kyoto. The name Tōkaidō means “East Sea Road” because the route mostly followed the coastline, and so there were many well known scenic spots along the way. Utagawa Hiroshige created his 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō print series after traveling this route in 1832, and it quickly became a bestseller. In this exhibition, prints from the original first Hōeidō edition of the series are displayed alongside later editions so that you can see the alterations that Hiroshige made to the pictures over time. All 53 stations are included in this exhibition.


Museum “Eki” Kyoto often has excellent shows, which are very well presented and organized and this is no exception. For each picture there is English information alongside the Japanese, that is extremely informative and really helps to explain exactly what you are looking at, the interactions between the characters depicted and where they are. Viewing the prints like this, in order, with such detailed and fascinating explanations really is like taking a little trip back in time. Mewby and I were both thoroughly absorbed and really enjoyed this show.


There were also some kimono and a light yukata on display that bore gorgeous designs, taken from Hiroshige’s famous prints.


歌川広重の旅 or Utagawa Hiroshige’s Journey continues at Museum “Eki” Kyoto until March 27th 2016. Museum “Eki” Kyoto is located on the 7th floor of Isetan department store in the Kyoto Station building. Entry is 900 yen.


Pictures from Enso Watt & Instant Eternity!

2016-01-24 21.47.59

Enso Watt performed Sanka’s 5th Season Ritual at Urbanguild on Sunday night and as always it was a fantastic show. If you are not familiar with what they do, it is a choreographed multi-media extravaganza, of experimental music, pre-recorded soundscapes, live video, art, poetry, heaps of talent, color, and a whole lot of enthusiasm. All of it conducted by classical composer/conductor Yannick Paget, and inspired by the poetry of Chris Mosdell. Sometimes when they are all playing and the lyrics are bubbling from Chris Mosdell’s mouth, I feel like they are just happily playing, that I don’t need to take it so seriously, just go along for the ride. But by the time we got to the 3rd act on Sunday night, I was thoroughly sucked in by the poet’s words, swept up by the music, and Yannick’s pounding drums… enthralled, enthused, moved and inspired.

2016-01-24 21.48.28
“We are elementary,” said the poet, “awakening from a phantasmagorical sleep… We have lived everywhere…”

2016-01-24 20.55.47
Words and music, light and sound were bringing us back to our first beginnings, and to our essential unity: “We have learnt to dissolve in all directions, to transfer identities.”

2016-01-24 20.55.55
“We are an ancient race with an essential innocence, with virginity in our veins–”

2016-01-24 21.48.08

Imagine that; a creed underlying culture that celebrated our essential innocence, rather than the dead weight of original sin.

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I was intoxicated by the energy of this performance. My mind was taking the poet’s lyrics and spinning new mythologies, new litanies of healing, multiplying through “dimensions, strata, levels, layers…”  I imagined the Sanka Rites poured into the common consciousness, overwhelming  terror and trauma, washing away tired philosophies of division and denial! How splendid to be “charged with renegade magic”, to celebrate and build rather than fight and destroy!

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Thoughts like these went through my mind at Sanka’s 5th Ritual.

Many thanks to all the participants in Sunday night’s show. There really is nothing else like the raw mix of talent and adventurous spirit that makes up the Enso Watt collective.

2016-01-24 23.11.34
But will they play again, I wonder? After Eternity, what next?

ensō watt are
{soundscape, spatialization}
Samuel André (aka ieva)

{composer, conductor, percussionist}
Yannick Paget

Chris Mosdell

{piano }
江南泰佐 Taisuke Enami

{accordeon synth}

岡田康孝 Okada Yasutaka

{guest : trumpet}
Christopher Fryman

{live video mapping}
Andy Couzens & Masato Tokumaru

Hirisha Metha

noriyuki yoshimura

See also: Images from Sanka’s Winter Ritual