KG+2019 – KYOTOGRAPHIE’s Satellite Event
About SIGMA’s event support & photography exhibition

SIGMA was a main sponsor of KYOTOGRAPHIE satellite event KG+2019, held in Kyoto, Japan, from April until May this year.
In this article, we’ll introduce our involvement with the event and present
an overview of the photography exhibition we held as part of the KG+ main program.

text: SEIN Online / photos: Keiko Mizukai


SIGMA, creator of photographic gear for artists, participated in KG+2019, the satellite event of the KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival which aims to showcase and support emerging photographers and curators, as the event’s main sponsor. Both KG+2019 and KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival was held in various locations throughout Kyoto between April 12 and May 12, 2019.

KG+ is an open-entry art festival that started in 2013 dedicated to highlighting and supporting promising new artists and curators in the photography world. For its 7th edition in 2019, the festival once again renewed its program and offered – through its many exhibitions and events – an opportunity for new talents to reach out into the world from Kyoto.

As a satellite event of the KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Fair, artists participating in KG+ are provided with a platform to exchange with and have their works be seen by an international community of artists and curators. With its open, participatory model, KG+ creates an approachable environment which brings photography culture closer together with festival visitors as well as Kyoto residents.

SIGMA’s sponsorship entails the support of all “SELECT 12” artists of the KG+ AWARD—founded to highlight the works of emerging talents and launch their careers as artists—as well as its selection committee, and providing supplementary prizes for the award’s Grand Prix & Audience Award winners.

Furthermore, SIGMA held a dedicated photographic exhibition featuring works by Japanese photographer Go Itami. Itami presented a series of images that focus on SIGMA’s unique manufacturing site in Fukushima Prefecture’s Aizu region.

Why we decided to sponsor KG+

A manufacturer who thinks seriously about gear & photography
SIGMA constantly re-evaluates the relationship between gear and photography, between technology and expression. As devoted creators of unique, high-quality cameras and lenses, we take the manufacture of our products seriously. However, we understand it as equally important to share the richness and beauty of photography as an art-form, and to provide a stage to upcoming photography talents.
Through our cooperation with KG+ from 2018, we go one step further in our role as photographic gear manufacturers to develop and explore the possibilities of photography.

Supporting emerging artists

KG+ is an art project that started in 2013 with the expressive mission to support artists and curators with promising careers ahead of them. Through its cooperation with KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photo Fair, the event is able to provide a meeting space for Japanese and international photographers, artists, curators and gallerists, and serve as a global information hotspot.
We began our cooperation with KG+ in 2018 as one further step in our role as manufacturers of photographic gear to explore and widen the possibilities of photography and deepen the link between “seeing” and “capturing.” In detail, we supported the KG+ AWARD, which showcases and paves the way for emerging photographers, in the following ways:

  • Support for the KG+ AWARD SELECT 12 artists
    – provide all twelve artists with the funds necessary to partake in the exhibition
  • Support for the KG+ AWARD SELECT 12 committee
    – provide the funds necessary for selection committee
  • Supplementary prize for the winner of the KG+ AWARD Grand Prix
    – provide the recipient with 100.000 Yen worth of camera and lens gear
  • Supplementary prize for the winner of the KG+ AWARD Audience award
    – provide the winner of the Audience Award with commemorative goods


Atsushi Fukushima | Box Lunch is Ready

Fukushima works as a delivery man in a company delivering lunch boxes to senior citizens. By bringing his camera into this occupational setting he explores themes surrounding an aging society, along with matters of life and death. Fukushima says, “It is actually horrifying to me to stare into the eyes of the elderly. Photography serves as a way to release from me from fear.” Through this series, Fukushima faces scenarios not ordinarily faced in our daily lives, through his images we are forced to confront a different state of existence and some undeniable truths about fate. (cited from official program)

Participation in the main program
SIGMA Satellite Gallery in Kyoto 2019

Go Itami Special Exhibition with FOVEON

SIGMA held a special exhibition with new works by internationally acclaimed photographer Go Itami, whose photobook “photocopy” was shot almost entirely with the SIGMA sd Quattro H and SIGMA dp3 Quattro.
For the exhibition, Go Itami focused on SIGMA’s unique manufacturing plant in Fukushima Prefecture’s Aizu region, this time relying on the SIGMA sd Quattro H. This series sees Go Itami utilize the overwhelming resolution and brilliant color reproduction capabilities of SIGMA’s Foveon-equipped camera to capture the Aizu factory—the site of SIGMA’s manufacturing activities—in truly unique ways. Go Itami’s carefully composed, detailed photographs impressed the visitors to the exhibition. In addition to Go Itami’s photographs, we also exhibited SIGMA products and sold exclusive KG+×SIGMA merchandises at the venue.

© Go Itami
© Go Itami
© Go Itami
© Go Itami

Go Itami
Photographer. Born in 1976 in Tokushima Prefecture. Recipient of the 27th Canon New Cosmos of Photography Award in 2004. Photobook publications include “study”, “study / copy / print”, “this year’s model” (all published by Rondade) as well as the self- published “Mazime”. His latest work “photocopy” was almost exclusively shot with the SIGMA sd Quattro H and the SIGMA dp3 Quattro.

About SIGMA’s sponsorship of KYOTOGRAPHIE 2017 and KG+2018

SIGMA sponsored the KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival 2017, and its satellite event KG+ in 2018.
For the KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival 2017, SIGMA hosted a time-limited exhibition of its vast library of Japanese and international photobooks – the first time the library was opened to the public – as part of the festival’s associated program.
In 2018, SIGMA joined satellite event KG+ as its main sponsor and host of several events, including the Go Itami exhibition “photocopy #2” as well as several presentations and discussions.
SIGMA will continue its manifold support to “photography as an artform” and those who explore photography’s possibilities of expression.

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