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Culture and Origin

What is culture? And how culture has been inherited from its origin to its present. This exhibition titled “Culture and Origin” provides an opportunity for attendants to think about this interesting and deep topic. This exhibition is carried out in Kyoto, Japan which is a special place where traditional culture and present culture co-exist and merge well. To provide an opportunity to think about the origin of culture, a photo exhibition of gorilla, who shares same origin with human, is organized. These photos were taken by a young photographer and Kyoto University student, Mr. Ohtsuka. Please look at their charming and sometimes philosophical expressions. Then we invited two famous persons representing Kyoto traditional culture. Mr. Toru Ota, the owner of traditional Kyoto confectionary, Oimatsu, that have been providing their sweets to Japanese Imperial Family. Another is Mr. Ryuho Sasaoka, Head of an Ikebana school called Mishoryu Sasaoka. Their performance and/or installation will give a good opportunity to understand that they have always been creating something new as well as trying preserve traditional culture. At present based on the advance of modern culture we are surrounded by technologies. To show examples of integration of culture and art, an art exhibition and a performance are carried out based on the collaboration of two persons. One is Mr. Satoru Maegawa who was Director of Low Temperature Physics Laboratory in Kyoto University and is Kyoto University Professor Emeritus. Another is Ms. Naoko Tosa who is a media artist and at the same time Kyoto University Professor. Naoko Tosa’s two media artworks, “Utsuroi” and “Volcano” are projected on two screens at the same time, “Utsuroi” is projected on a touchable screen which is made of liquid nitrogen. Through these exhibitions and performances the organizer really hope that attendants of this exhibition would think about “culture and origin.”

Organized and curated by
Ryohei Nakatsu and Tosa Naoko


Toru Ota

Owner of Oimatsu, a court-style confectionary shop. Doctor of Engineering. A former professor of Ikenobo Junior College, he has been lecturing at various universities. As a leading scholar of Japanese food culture, Dr. Ota has written prolifically, as well as lectured to a wide range of the audience. He is also known for his multidisciplinary approach to Japanese culture. For example, he has been analyzing human motion and eye movement, both related to tea ceremony, and conducting 3D motion analyses of paste-enclosing motion in Kyoto’s traditional confectionary. By quantifying what the human body knows in terms of traditional culture and craftsmanship, therefore, he has been aiming at turning Japanese culture to resources. He has also been very active as an artist, holding unique tea ceremonies in and outside of Japan. Moreover, he has appeared on many TV programs. Recently, as a trustee of Ren Produce, Dr. Ota has been putting great effort in not only teaching how to apply traditional culture to business and education, but also rebuilding an Edo-period school called Koudoukan.

Works of art and developing scenes.


Ryuho Sasaoka

Born in 1974 in Kyoto, now he is guest professor at the University of Kyoto Notre Dame. From 3 years began to learn the art of ikebana from his grandfather Kunpo. In 1985. In 1997, he graduated in architecture at the University of Kyoto and in 1999 he finished the master course at the same university. In order to develop the expressive potential of ikebana even in the theater, working with an actor of the Kabuki theater Fukusuke Nakamura invented the new stile of the demonstration of ikebana “Ikebana live performance", though he is always conscious of his roots in tradition. In 2011 he inaugurated the third grand master of the School Mishoryu-Sasaoka. In the same year he published the book "Ikebana" (Shinchō-sha publisher).

Works of art

Satoru Maegawa

He graduated from a Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University in 1977, and obtained a doctor of science. He became successively an assistant in the College of Liberal Arts and Science of Kyoto Univ., an associate professor, a professor, and a director of the Research Center for Low Temperature and Materials Sciences of Kyoto Univ.. He retired from Kyoto Univ. in 2013. He is now an emeritus professor. His field is the low temperature magnetism in physics. He studied novel magnetic properties in the frustrated magnets such as antiferromagnets on the triangular lattice or the kagome lattice, in which the magnetic interactions compete with each other. He discovered a quantum spin liquid and a successive magnetic phase transition. He investigated physics also abroad at Laboratoire de Physique des Solids, Universite de Paris Sud, and University of Florida. He is interested in culture and Japanese painting. He restored with a sense of physics a historical well which has a legend concerning a tea ceremony.

Ryoma Otsuka

Born in 1992. I'm a senior student in Kyoto University aiming to become a "Gorilla Photographer". Next year,I'm going to go to graduate school, do fieldwork in Africa and go on taking photos of gorillas. 2014 "ゴリラ展。"(Exhibition of Gorillas)

Works of art.

Naoko Tosa

She was born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1961, is a pioneer in the area of media art and is an internationally renowned media artist. Her artworks became well known world-wide in late 1980ʼs after one of her early artworks was selected at an exhibition called “New Video Japan” organized by Barbara London, a MOMA curator. After receiving PhD for Art and Technology research from the University of Tokyo, from 2002 to 2004 she was a fellow at the Centre for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, that was established by Gyorgy Kepes of Bauhaus. Currently she is a professor at KYOTO UNIVERSITY Center for the Promotion of Excellence in Higher Education. Her artworks have been focusing the visualization of unconsciousness. By publishing a book “Cultural Computing” from NTT publishing, she proposed a new interdisciplinary research area called Cultural Computing, which focuses the visualization of in-brain images using digital technologies and transcending different cultures. She exhibited her artworks at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the New York Metropolitan Art Museum,Japan Creative Center at Singapore, and at many other locations worldwide. In 2000, she received a prize from the Interactive Art section in ARS Electronica. Also in 2004 she received 2nd prize from Nabi Digital Storytelling Competition of Intangible Heritage organized by UNESCO2004. She held a solo exhibition at Japan Creative Center in Singapore in 2011. In 2012, she was asked to create a digital artwork for Yeosu Marine Expo in Korea. In the EXPO Digital Gallery with a LED screen of 250mx30m, she exhibited her digital artwork called ”Four God Fag” which symbolizes the idea of Asian traditional four gods connecting Asia. It was honored by Expo 2012 Committee. In 2014 she was awarded Good Design Award Japan by her projection mapping using only actual images. In 2015 she carried out projection mapping celebrating RIMPA 400 anniversary and attracted more than 16000 attendees, which content will be exhibited at Milan EXPO 2015.

Works of art.