Welcome to the website of the Kyoto Kogei Association.
When it comes to Kogei, there is no place in the world that compares to the historic city of Kyoto. It was there that the Kyoto Kogei Association was founded in 1946 to span the boundaries between different genres and groups. Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years, and it remains an outstanding and vibrant center of culture and art even today as it carries on and develops traditions from the past.
“Kogei” originally referred to the traditional handmade arts and crafts of Japan that evolved over its long history. In it's original sense, it often was used for functional objects, but although functional, these objects reflected great beauty and unsurpassed mastery of media and techniques that are possible only with the reverence and respect with which Japanese artisans approach their work. The Kogei tradition is alive in Japan today, but often it reflects more modern interpretations as well as new media and techniques.
Kogei includes a wide variety of media and expressions, including ceramics, dyeing/weaving,Urushi ( lacquer), metal, Ningyo (dolls), glass, wood, Shippo (cloisonne), Kirikane (cut gold leaf), bamboo, metal/gemstones, and more. Individual artists in each area confront their medium, master techniques, and freely create original works of art.
Kogei represents Japanese culture, and we are proud to present it here to the world. Please enjoy the artwork of our members.
The Kyoto Kogei Association was established on October 22, 1946 with dying/weaving artist Seika Yamaga (1885–1981) serving as the first president. The Association has had many members spanning the boundaries between different media and groups who have been the leaders of the Kogei art world in Kyoto.
The Association contains several sections: dying/weaving, ceramics, lacquer, metal, and “other Kogei.” Exhibitions of artwork created by members have been organized to introduce our artists and train them, and have been held not only in Kyoto, but also in Tokyo and other centers around Japan. Our first international exhibition was held in October 2001 in conjunction with Kyoto Prefecture in Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.
In 2001 and 2006 we held commemorative exhibitions for our 55th and 60th anniversaries. An exhibition to commemorate our 65th anniversary was held in 2011, when the National Cultural Festival was held, and a traveling exhibition was also held in Nantan City, Kyoto Prefecture, the site of the National Cultural Festival. In 2015 on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Rimpa School of Painting, we held a Japanese painting and Kogei art exhibition in Kyoto entitled “The Beauty of Rimpa Alive in Kyoto” featuring 200 contemporary artists. This exhibition also traveled to Tokyo in 2016. In 2018, the Liu Haisu Art Museum in Shanghai, China held an exhibition of artwork from Association members entitled “Kyoto's Arts and Crafts.”