Held annually over four weeks in the spring tourist season, Kyotographie International Photography Festival has attracted more than 157,000 visitors since 2013. A theme is chosen each year for the festival that serves as the tributary that connects all of the exhibitions. This year the theme was ‘Circle of Life.’

Circle of Life

The circle is the set of all points in a plane that are at a given distance from a given point, the centre. The circle is a closed curve that divides the plane into two regions: an interior and an exterior. The Circle here represents the birth, the life and the death of all creation. It applies to all levels of life - the microscopic, the individual and the macroscopic. Each moment is continually intersecting with others; there is a constant connection between one moment and the next, between the first moment and the last moment.

Highlights of Kyotographie 2016

Christian Sardet, member of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, composed images of plankton. Plankton forms the basis of the world’s food chain and thus is the support of all other life on the planet.

Sarah Moon created a series at the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris that centred on the construction of intimate stories out of elements both animate and inanimate.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen blurs the lines between his body and the earth in his series of self-portraits that show his nude body in natural landscapes.

Eriko Koga considers the daily life of the individual, in her series inside one of Kyoto’s Buddhist temples. The daily life of the individual that has relationship with death. An acceptance that one is simply a point in the continuing circle of life, that neither begins nor ends with the death of the individual moment but continues to the next moment.

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Words | Rob Woodgate