The Pleasure of Stone―Across the Distance of a Millennium
Fumihiko Kato Photo Exhibition
October 23 (Sunday) ～ November 6 (Sunday) 2016 (Open every day.)
11:00～18:30 ( Closes at 18:00 on the last day.)
Photo Gallery ARTisan Japanesque 1F (2nd F in Japanese sense.)
Located in Higashiyama, Kyoto;
150 meters to the south of the giant torii of Heian Shrine and
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
Five mins wlk fr Subway Higashiyama/ten mins wlk fr Keihan Sanjo Stations respectively
Off Jingumichi on No.5 bus line from JR Kyoto Station or Hankyu Kawaramachi Sta.
Romanesque Stone in a Traditional Wooden House of Kyoto
Stone-built medieval churches and castles in Europe are full of aesthetic glamour for an Asian like myself who grew up in the “wood culture” loving wooden buildings as an essential part of life. An encounter with lapis-lazuli-and-gold mosaics along with colorful marble walls in Ravenna, the ancient capital of Western Roman Empire, was a shocking turning point towards the fascination with stone architecture in Europe.
That turning point became an even more decisive one when I saw Jumièges Abbey thirty years ago. The majesty of the Norman-Romanesque ruin was of an austere beauty diametrically opposite to the type represented by Byzantine treasures in Ravenna. Since then the charm of stone buildings, both glamourous and stoic, has become one of the most important part of my life.
For the past thirty years I have visited Italy, France, England and Scotland, and have taken photos of ancient buildings built between the 5th and the 15th centuries, Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic.
Those photographs are devices for me to meet my own past younger self who stood in front of those objects and recorded the moment. And then, I could even go further back travelling over one thousand years and more in my imagination to be among the people who were breathing there beside those walls, pillars and arches.
Some of them I have the pleasure of sharing with you this time at The Photo Gallery ARTisan Japanesque in Kyoto, which is housed in a refurbished traditional Japanese house. The patrons are cordially invited to enjoy the “warm” feel of the stone surrounded by wood and earth, as if they reenter the world of the past. The lasting life of stone may reach you via the capsules and you will share the time and space with ancient people who saw, touched and loved those stones.
The Profile of the Photographer
Born in Kobe in 1947, Dr. Fumihiko Kato was educated/trained in various disciplines of economics, theology and English in Japan, USA, and UK, and read English, Film Studies & Western Art at a university in Kyoto until March 2012 when he left the academic world to become a freelance photographer. Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Women’s University since June 2012.
Member of The Royal Photographic Society, he has mounted solo-exhibitions as follows:
Scream of Stone―A Photo-Exhibition of Northern Romanesque +Gothic (Osaka, June 2014)
The Pleasure of Stone―Afterglow― (Kyoto, November 2014)
Design of Stone―The Symphony of Form and Color― (Tokyo, May 2015)
The Pleasure of Stone II―Romanesque together with Gothic― (Nagoya, Sept.-Oct. 2016).
His works have been selected for this year’s 14th Exhibition of JPA at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum which travels to Osaka, etc. next year; and for The 2016 Ashiya Photo Exhibition—Road to Paris—at Hyogo Prefectural Art Museum.
His publications include Design of Stone: A Photobook (2015); Aspects of Intertextuality: “Always Already” in Pater, Wilde, Yeats and Eliot (2000).