Miho Kajioka


24-28 August 2020
Santorini, Greece

About the

This workshop was conducted by the Japanese photographer, Miho Kajioka, on the beautiful Greek island of Santorini, situated in the southern Aegean Sea and was hosted by The Palm Tree Workshop Space in a restored 1800’s Captain’s House, at Akrotiri village. The Greek island of Santorini is the wonderful location for this unique workshop, and provides a natural and light inspiration for this creative and productive 5-days.

Participants were encouraged to make fresh work, photographing in and around the environment of the island, capturing the atmosphere of nature.

In essence the workshop is captured beautifully in a quote from The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura, which is a book about the Japanese tradition of the tea ceremony. ‘It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.’

Miho describes the workshop:

‘On the first day, I would like to invite everyone to my casual tea ceremony. It will be held outside (this style is called ’Nodate’, means something like ‘picnic tea ceremony’).

The important thing is that I am not a teacher and I am not teaching tea ceremony, but just hosting a tea ceremony. Being a host for a tea ceremony is similar to holding an art exhibition.

Basically, in a tea ceremony, the host prepares art (painting or calligraphy), flowers, flower vases, incense, sweets or meals and tea. They are all based on a theme that the host choses. So based on the tea ceremony I will choose a theme, with one of my photo prints. The tea ceremony used to be like Jazz. You don’t really prepare too much but use whatever you have around. So I’d like to use whatever I will have around me in Greece; flowers, flower vases, tea cups, sweets… I will think about what I’d like to have as the theme.

Maccha tea is very important for artists. It has a lot of theanine, which can make people relax and gives Alfa wave. My teacher calls this as stimulant for the beauty.

Tea has caffeine and theanine, so that’s why monks used to drink this when they did meditations; to be awake but at the same time to feel relaxed. You are awake but you are very calm. The philosophy of tea ceremony is an awareness. It is like a gate where people go through and then they see the world differently with new aspects.

This workshop is very open. I can help people to make their stories and themes, give advice, help to find right theme or leave them alone.’

The workshop was conducted in English.

Miho Kajioka is a fine art photographer based in Kyoto, Japan. Her work is ethereal and minimalist, inspired by the Japanese tradition of ‘wabi-sabi’ that is the appreciation of beauty in imperfection and transience, and the Zen/Taoist belief that the essence of an object exists rather in the empty space inside and around it.

Kajioka studied fine art in the United States and Canada and has exhibited in France, the Netherlands, Colombia, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Spain. Kajioka’s work is currently being exhibited as a solo show at The Photographers Gallery in London. She won the Prix Nadar in 2019 for her photobook, So it Goes. Kajioka is represented by the Photographers Gallery in London, Polka Gallery in Paris and Ibasho Gallery in Antwerpen.

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