die of love © Hideka Tonomura
die of love © Hideka Tonomura
die of love © Hideka Tonomura

Hideka Tonomura


die of love

10/10 Celebrating Contemporary Japanese Women Photographers


Curated by
Lucille Reyboz,
Yusuke Nakanishi and
Pauline Vermare


Through her work, Hideka Tonomura explores questions of intimacy and sexuality. In her series ‘Mama Love,’ her subjects were her mother and herself. In this series, ‘Die of Love,’ portions of the body emerge from the photographs through blurs and flashes of color and light, leaving us to imagine the stories unfolding behind them. Through this highly theatrical work, which lies somewhere between tragedy and comedy, Tonomura tells us about the highs and lows of desire. Like the French philosopher Georges Bataille in his essay ‘The Tears of Eros,’ she asserts that the irrepressible passions of humankind, the intense relationships between love and death, between sexuality and darkness, lie at the root of all art.
Hideka Tonomura has been using photography as a vital tool for battling trauma. This is also true of her ‘SHINING WOMAN PROJECT,’ a series of portraits dedicated to women who are fighting cancer, on view at Sfera in Kyoto during the festival. This project has also produced a change of consciousness in Tonomura herself, as she puts it, ‘from taking photographs in order to live, to living in order to take photographs.' Her work is an impressive example of the cathartic role that photography can play in dealing with traumatic experience, at both the individual level and the level of society.


10:30 - 17:30

Admission accepted 30 mins before the venue closes.

Adult: ¥1,500
Students: ¥1,200 (Please present your student ID)

Closed: 4/12, 4/19, 4/26

All visitors to the exhibition need to make reservations in advance.
Click here for reservation


HOSOO FLAGSHIP STORE 2F & 5F, 412, Kakimoto-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Subway Karasuma Line or Tozai Line ”Karasuma Oike” station. 2 min on foot from Exit 6

10/10 Celebrating Contemporary Japanese Women Photographers

Co-curated by Pauline Vermare, Independent curator and photography historian (formerly cultural director of Magnum Photos and curator at ICP, New York) and Co-founders/Co-directors of KYOTOGRAPHIE, Lucille Reyboz and Yusuke Nakanishi. Through the series shown in the exhibition, we see a reflection and perspective distinctive to each photographer, whether they are living and working in Japan or abroad. These powerful images will be presented in a scenography that embodies the KYOTOGRAPHIE spirit and gives each artist her own customized space, thanks to versatile and sustainable structure, conceived by Kyoto-based designer and architect Hiroyasu Konishi.

This exhibition is supported by Women In Motion, a Kering program that shines a light on the talent of women in the fields of arts and culture. Since 2015, Women In Motion has been a platform of choice for helping to change mindsets and reflect on women’s place and recognition across artistic fields.

Hideka Tonomura

Born in 1979, in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture, Hideka Tonomura graduated from the Broadcasting and Filmmaking Department of Osaka Visual Arts School and began photography in 2002. She published her first photobook mama love in 2008 with Akaaka Art Publishing, revealing her deepest pain and the dark, hidden secrets of her family, leaving an unforgettable impression. In 2013 she published They called me Yukari with Zen Foto Gallery, in which she documented the life and people around her when she was working as a hostess in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. Actively presenting her work in and out of Japan, her recent publications include orange elephant (Zen Foto Gallery, 2015), cheki (Morel Books, 2018), and die of love (Zen Foto Gallery, 2018). Hideka started the ‘SHINING WOMAN PROJECT’—a portrait project dedicated to women fighting cancer. She has also been active abroad, invited to participate in group exhibitions at the Daiwa Foundation Japan House Gallery in London in 2018, among others. A publication on the project was released in 2020. Her series ‘mama love’ will be exhibited at the group exhibition Love Songs of Maison Européenne de la Photographie in March, 2022.

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