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Villa Kujoyama

A unique center of Franco-Japanese research and cultural exchange located

In the heights of Kyoto, Villa Kujoyama offers interdisciplinarity, cultural exchange and personalized support to French and Japanese artists in residence.


Based on the model of Villa Medici in Rome, Villa Kujoyama is an artists’ residence on the hillside above Kyoto in, the heart of Japan.

Built in 1992 by architect Kunio Kato on land donated to France by the Francophile community in Kansai, the Villa is managed by the French Institute of Japan. This is one of the largest French cultural institutions abroad, and the only one of its kind in Asia.

Villa Kujoyama has hosted more than 310 artists from all disciplines (architecture, literature, contemporary art, design, dance, composition, cinema, etc.) for stays of several months.
Following its renovation, the Villa is running a new residency program for experienced designers and researchers who wish to participate in interdisciplinary exchanges and develop a project related to Japan.


The Villa’s new program aims primarily to provide a framework for research in all fields of contemporary art, including crafts and digital arts, linked to the cultural scene in Kansai and Japan more widely.

In the same spirit of freedom and openness, Kujoyama Duo hosts two-person creative teams, with one French and one Japanese artist working on a joint project.

The Fondation Bettencourt Schueller has provided support for the reopening of the Villa and its new residency program. Crafts professionals are among the residents who can find inspiration, creativity and increased renown there.

From 2014 to 2016, Villa Kujoyama welcomed artists including Manuela Paul-Cavallier, Mylinh Nguyen, Karl Mazlo, Emilie Pedron, Nelly Saunier and Céline Sylvestre (arts and crafts), François Azambourg, Quentin Vaulot and Goliath Dyèvre (design) Emmanuel Carrère, Jean-Baptiste del Amo and Iris de Moüy (literature), Olivier Sévère (multimedia art), Georges Lavaudant (theater) and Aurore Thibout (fashion), as well as a number of duos: Damien Jalet and Nawa Kohei (multimedia art and dance), Thomas Pons and Julie Stephen Chheng (digital arts) and Felipe Ribon and Ryoko Sekiguchi (design and literature). 
In 2017, the Villa’s artists-in-residence include Baptiste Ymonet and Vincent Jousseaume, Violaine Blaise and François-Xavier Richard (arts and crafts), Frédéric Blondy (music), Thomas Bouvet and Hiroshi Ota (theater), Jean-Sébastien Lagrange, duo Mathieu Peyroulet Ghilini and Laureline Galliot (design), Rafaël Lain and Angela Detanico (multimedia art), and Bertrand Planes (digital arts). In 2018, the Villa will house 21 residents, including Thierry Machel (music), Martine Rey and Sandrine Rozier (arts and crafts) and Joan Brunel (design).


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