‘ECAL x TOKYO PHOTOGRAPHIC RESEARCH’ is a joint project with ECAL, Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (Switzerland), which took place in the summer of 2019. TOKYO PHOTOGRAPHIC RESEARCH hosted a 10-day research workshop for 13 ECAL photography master’s students, guest lectured by Taisuke Koyama, as well as presentations and studio visits by the participating artists. With the cooperation of the Swiss Embassy, the exhibition “HIGURASHI: ECAL x TOKYO PHOTOGRAPHIC RESEARCH” was held at (Place) by Method in Shibuya, and a talk event with the head of the Department of Photography, Milo Keller, and Koyama was also held.

In Summer 2019, thirteen students of ECAL Master in Photography supervised by Milo Keller, traveled to Japan to develop thirteen personal projects in collaboration with Taisuke Koyama and TOKYO PHOTOGRAPHIC RESEARCH. From still and moving images to computer-generated photographic visuals, students’ artworks explore a wide variety of aspects of the Japanese megalopolis which is, once again, undergoing major transformations in preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Some projects focus on concrete aspects of the city, from the destruction of small residential houses to the construction of the gigantic Olympic village and the conquest of new territories by the sea. Other works investigate particularities of Japanese culture such as food in a family setting, the desire to generate humanoid robots, the confusion of child and adult worlds in manga, the Pachinko gambling, the reinvention of ikebana and the rising stars among young girls. Finally, works seek to visualize more abstract concepts such as loneliness, emptiness and intimacy in a city that, by its density, size and power, embraces a challenging, fascinating and extremely stimulating complexity for the eyes of the thirteen photographers.

Date: 2019.08.29 – 2019.09.08
Workshop Venue: Shibuya Cultural Center Owada
Exhibition Venue: (Place) by Method
Co-Organized by Embassy of Switzerland


ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne (Switzerland) is regarded internationally as one of the leading platforms for academic and creative undertakings. Since 2016, ECAL has introduced a new master’s degree in Photography. Relying on massive use of photographic images, this two-year programme, gives students an opportunity to develop projects in the long term. It especially pushes the boundaries of applied research in contemporary photography with an emphasis on digital, web and network manipulation, new forms of books, shaping images on various media, interactive exhibition design, up to and including the moving and computer generated image. Through its pragmatic, artistic and applied nature, the Master Photography ensures that each graduate, based on their specific strengths and inclinations, finds a place in the top networks of contemporary photography.





On the road to Tokyo 2020, the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan wishes to celebrate the ties of friendship between our two countries. Launched in February 2019, “Doors to Switzerland – Japan 2020” is an 18 months program with Swiss innovation and creativity at its core. Events relating to design, architecture, technology, fashion, food and many more aspects of Switzerland’s creative economy are paving the way to the House of Switzerland which will open its doors in Shibuya during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This exhibition is part of this program.





All images © ECAL

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