KG+ 2023



Patrick Hochner

Faces of the Kagai

A series of portraits and views of the Kagai (Hanamachi or Geisha Districts) of Kyoto, presented inside an authentic Ochaya (tea house) located in Gion (Shimbashi Street).

Patrick started taking photos in his native Alsace, France, when he was 14, using the family bathroom as his darkroom. At about the same time, he started traveling and has never stopped since. He has visited over 100 countries around the world, combining his passion for photography with the enjoyments of travels and discoveries. Arriving in Japan in the late 1970s, he has called Japan home ever since.

He and his wife Akiko have fallen in love with Kyoto, the old imperial capital, and for the last eight years, they lived a good part of their time in Kyoto. Patrick has discovered the Hanamachi and has become fascinated by this secret world of tradition, beauty and elegance. He is now concentrating on documenting Kyoto’s geisha districts with his camera.

This exhibition will present numerous large-scale portraits and other photographs of maiko (apprentice) and geiko (geisha), with one large screen TV displaying additional photos and information. Our purpose is, by providing the actual surroundings with the ochaya, to offer a complete visual introduction to this enchanting world that remains secret, mysterious and inaccessible for so many people.

Gion Higashi Ochaya

428 Rinka-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto