Japan’s Contemporary Creative Scene Gathers in Paris

From 1–4 February 2024 at the Magasins Généraux, digital art, installations and design objects will be exhibited at the Tokyosaï festival.


WordsRebecca Zissmann

© Mami Kiyoshi

Initiated by the studio Sato Creative, the first edition of the Tokyosaï festival celebrates the contemporary culture of Japan and its vibrant capital city. This eclectic gathering of artists with varied sources of inspiration and practices is taking place over a lively long weekend at the Magasins Généraux in Paris, from 1 to 4 February 2024.

A concept store selling art toys and design objects carefully selected by the team at Tempura magazine and food stands run by DokiDoki, Café Shiba and La Maison du Saké will also be there for visitors to enjoy. Here’s an overview of the programme for this event that lies at the crossroads between digital art, design and photography.

Introduction to the Japanese Pixel Art scene


The EXCALIBUR collective draws inspiration from the graphics used by Nintendo in the 1980s in pieces that employ the same 8-bit pixel as the video games of the time. Their deliciously nostalgic art features neon colours, made from the 16 RGB base colours used in video games, and urban landscapes.

Ordinary portraits composed by Mami Kiyoshi

© Mami Kiyoshi

The photographer devised her series entitled New Reading Portraits, which she began in 2003, as a collaborative project that’s halfway to being a documentary work. Anyone who is interested in becoming a model is free to contact her. Then, Mami Kiyoshi comes to their home and conscientiously creates her setting in dialogue with the person being photographed, in order to convey their personality accurately. Speaking to the art magazine Marges in 2012, she declared that ‘ordinary life has depth, strength’. This power transcends her mesmerising portraits.

Ken Yashiki modernises a technique that dates back three centuries

© Ken Yashiki

A former student of textile design, Ken Yashiki has taken over kimekomi. This technique, which dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868), typically involves sculpting dolls before inserting pieces of fabric in the grooves in the wood to fashion an outfit for them. These dolls are handed down within families because they are displayed every year on 3 March for Hina Matsuri or Girls’ Day. Ken Yashiki depicts contemporary scenes through kimekomi, but still with a view to representing the heritage and the symbolic act behind it. His first pieces were made using some of his daughter’s old clothes.

Other must-sees at Tokyosaï include Kota Yamaji’s acid universe, illustrator Daijiro Hama‘s enchanted world and Yoshi Sodeoka‘s neo-psychedelic digital art.


More information about Tokyosaï can be found on the festival’s official website.



© Kota Yamaji

© Mami Kiyoshi