European Eyes on Japan

Punta Begoña Galleries

From July 1st to 31

Tuesday to Friday
5 pm – 8:30 pm
Saturdays and Sundays
12 am – 3 pm
5 pm – 8:30 pm

Opening: June 30th, 19:30


Omaji, Jon Cazenave

European Eyes on Japan
The European Eyes on Japan / Japan Today has invited, since 1999, photographers from European capitals of culture to portray contemporary Japan, providing a new and exceptional perspective, removed from stereotypes, offering the Japanese people the chance to see themselves through other eyes. In 2016, under the direction of curator Mikiko Kikuta, Jon Cazenave from San Sebastian, Spain, and Łukasz Rusznica from Wroclaw, Poland, were invited to photograph the prefecture of Kagawa.

EU Japan Fest


Mask, Łukasz Rusznica


The Conversations programme by San Sebastian 2016 seeks, in complicity with agents, spaces, schedulers and creative artists who are already settled in the local cultural scene, in this case together with GETXOPHOTO, to generate activities that promote the Capital of Culture’s values such as participation, diversity, coexistence and the link with Europe.

Conversations 2016


Lurdes R. Basolí

The work by Jon Cazenave is the result of the dialogue that the author maintains with the land. I wanted this photographer, who explored with so much sincerity his own roots and identity, to at least capture some of that essence that Kagawa might have.

My expectations were exceeded by far. The author used several photographic languages: cyanotypes made with washi (Japanese paper) and seawater, analogue and digital cameras, Internet screenshots. All of this represented his vision of Japanese society, combining respect for the oldest traditions while also being open to new trends.

Cazenave travels through space and time, paying attention to the voices coming from the sun, the water and the rocks. He has titled his work Omaji, which sounds to me like the name of an island, neither Japanese nor Basque, neither past nor present, but which could well be these things. A paradise that anyone can visit while deep in thought looking at the image before us.

Mikiko Kikuta. Artistic Director.

Jon Cazenave
San Sebastian, 1978. Jon has a degree in Business and Economic Sciences from the University of Deusto. Since 2007, he has been working on Galerna, a long-term photographic project about the identity of the Basque people. He has taken part in festivals such as Les Rencontres d´Arles, Noorderlicht, Photoespaña, Encontros da Imagem de Braga and Tbilisi Photo, as well as in collective art projects such as Horizon, a research laboratory, and Ixil Ar, an ongoing conversation about Jorge Oteiza. He has had three books published – Herri Ixilean, Galerna and Ama Lur.


Łukasz Rusznica

I wish to be concrete
Łukasz Rusznica’s work was intriguingly inspired by the dialogue with yaorozuno kami. These Gods are called Yokai («monster») and refers to the vicious aspect of gods. A god can become “Yokai” if it was perceived in a negative light. I was surprised when I got to know Rusznica was interested in Yokai. Because Kagawa is known for its mild climate, peaceful atmosphere and cheerful people etc. But, everything has two faces of the same coin.

In fact, since old times Kagawa has been the end of the Shikoku hallowed ground where pilgrimages finally relive. But, not all of them. Kagawa has been a place where life and death are countervailed. Lukasz achieved to get appear Kagawa as the boundary of nature and man, God and Yokai, ancient and modern, everyday life and another world… Old Japanese was afraid of the boundary but adored it as well. You may already know the reason from Łukasz’s work. So, the place is such rich and fascinating.

Mikiko Kikuta. Artistic Director.

Łukasz Rusznica
Garwolin, 1980. Łukasz graduated from the Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Wroclaw. His work has been exhibited both in Poland and internationally, and it has also been published in magazines such as Szum, Biuro, LaVie, Machina and POST. He was awarded for his work at the ShowOFF section of Krakow Photomonth 2012 and won a Warto Award in 2015. He has published the books Smog, Near, Infra, The most important I do not tell you at all and Toskana.



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