Born in 1980 in Tokyo. Based in Tokyo, Japan.
Represented by POLKA galerie in Paris and Only Photography gallery in Berlin. Okahara grew up in Tokyo and started his career as a photographer after college graduation where he studied education. He has been pursuing the stories based on his theme “Ibasyo” which, in Japanese, refers to physical and emotional space in which one can exist. In 2010, He has been awarded W. Eugene Smith Fellowship with his long-term project “Ibasyo” on Japanese girls who self-harm. He was also awarded Getty Images Grant with his works on post Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2012. His long-term work on Colombia also received Pierre & Alexandra Boulat grant in 2014. He has published 6 monographs and some art books. His 10 meter scroll art book “Vanishing existence” was exhibited at the art book exhibition in Bavarian State Library in Munich along with artists such as Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Keith Haring and became a part of permanent collections. One of his series “Almost Paradise” was also exhibited at “100 years Leica photography” shows among few Japanese photographers. His works have been exhibited in museums, art fairs, and international photo festivals such as Kunsthal in Rotterdam, Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Quai Branly Museum, C/O Berlin, Tokyo Photographic art museums, Paris Photo, AIPAD, and Kyotographie. in 2021, he made a video piece only with still images. The work was nominated for Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, the world’s biggest short film. festival. Same work won Jury’s Special Mention at Las Palmas International Film Festival and Best Contemporary Experimental Short Award at Sapporo International Short Film Festival. Same work also won World Press Photo 2022 in its open format category.


1980 - born in Tokyo
2003 - started his career as a photographer after college graduation
2007 - joined Agence Vu in Paris
2008 - moved to Paris
2018 - came back to Japan


2020 · blue affair, Backyard, Japan
2018 · Ibasyo, Kousakusha, Japan
2016 · Vanishing Existence · Oban edition, Art book
2015 · Fukushima Fragments, Editions de La Martinière, France
2014 · Almost Paradise, Only Photography, Germany
2014 · Ibasyo Book Journey, Not for sale
2013 · Vanishing Existence · Special edition, Art book
2013 · Vanishing Existence, Art book
2013 · CONTACT #1 -Any given day-, Backyard, Japan

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019 · “Ibasyo”, Kyotographie, Kyoto, Japan
2018 · “Ibasyo book project”, Tokyo Institute of Photography, Tokyo, Japan
2018 · “Ibasyo book project”, Mirage Gallery, Kobe, Japan
2017 · “Rhapsody in the dark”, Festival Photoreporter, Saint-Brieuc, France
2016 · “Fragments/Fukushima”, Polka Galerie, Paris , France
2016 · “Fragments/Fukushima”, Maison de la culture du Japon, Paris , France
2016 · “Fragments/Fukushima”, Espace Kuu, Tokyo, Japan
2016 · “Fragments/Fukushima”, Mt. Rokko International Photo Festival, Kobe, Japan
2015 · “Almost Paradise”, Only Photography, Berlin, Germany
2015 · “Fragments/Fukushima”, Photo Antalya, Antalya, Turkey
2013 · “Surviving for existence, Abkhazia”, Festival Photoreporter, Saint-Brieuc, France
2011 · “Ibasyo”, Kunsthal museum, Rotterdam, Holland
2011 · “Any given day”, Chobimela, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2010 · “Resistance -Darfur Conflict-“, Festiwal Fotodocumentu, Poznan, Poland
2010 · “Chance”, Festiwal Fotodocumentu, Poznan, Poland
2009 · “Ibasyo”, Noorderlicht, Groningen, Holland
2009 · “Vanishing Existence”, Chobimela V, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2008 · “Rebels on the edge”, TOPS CHINA, Shenyang, China
2006 · “Resistance -Darfur Conflict-“, FCCT, Bangkok, Thailand
2005 · “Resistance -Darfur Conflict-“, Shinjuku NIKON Salon, Tokyo, Japan

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022 · “blue affair”, World Press Photo Exhibition Global Tour
2021 · “blue affair”, Hong Kong International Photo Festival
2020 · “Veritiges des jours”, Polka Galerie, Paris, France
2019 · “Magnum Live Lab”, Kyotographie, Kyoto, Japan
2018 · “Terres des Îles”, Polka Galerie, Paris, France
2017 · “SHOWCASE”, Bavaria State Library, Munich, Germany
2016 · “Fragments/Fukushima”, Med Photo Fest, Catania, Italy
2015 · “100 years of Leica Photography”, C/O Berlin, Berlin, Germany
2015 · “Emerging”, Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angels, USA
2014 · “100 years of Leica Photography”, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany
2011 · “Kosuke Okahara et Jehsong Baak”, Galerie KJB, Paris, France
2011 · “Vanishing existence”, Polka Galerie, Paris, France
2011 · “Ibasyo”, Photo Quai, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France
2010 · “Ibasyo”, Orange International Photography Festival, Changsha, China
2010 · “Ibasyo”, Fotografia, Rome , Italy
2010 · “Vanishing Existence”, Gallery 21, Tokyo, Japan
2009 · “Chance”, POLKA Galerie, Paris, France
2009 · “Ibasyo”, 10th Photo Gathering, Aleppo, Syria
2009 · “Ibasyo”, Sony World Photography Award, Aperture Gallery, New York, USA
2009 · “Almost Paradise”, Editors’ Choice, Ricoh Ring Cube, Tokyo, Japan
2009 · “Vanishing Existence”, Prix Kodak de la Critique Photographique, Paris, France
2006 · “Resistance -Darfur Conflict-“, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
2005 · “Resistance -Darfur Conflict-“, Kyusan University Museum, Fukuoka, Japan


2022 · World Press Photo – Asia, Open format category
2021 · 16th Sapporo International Short Film Festival, Best Comtemporary Experimental Short
2021 · 20th Las Palmas de Grand Canaria International Film Festival, Jury’s Special Mention,
2017 · Saint-Brieuc Festival Grant
2014 · Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Award
2013 · Saint-Brieuc Festival Grant
2012 · Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography
2012 · European Publishers Award Finalist
2010 · W.Eugene Smith Fellowship
2009 · World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass
2009 · Sony World Photography Awards, Contemporary Issue, 2nd place
2009 · PDN’s 30
2009 · Young Reporter’s Award Nominee, Visa Pour l’Image
2009 · 2nd place, Best Published Picture Story category, NPPA
2009 · 2nd place, Non-Traditional Photojournalism Publishing category, NPPA
2008 · Prix Kodak, Special mention
2008 · Overseas Training Grant, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan
2007 · Young Reporter’s Award Nominee, Visa Pour l’Image
2007 · 3rd place, Freature Photo Gallery, NPPA
2005 · Ueno Hikoma Award


Bavarian state library, Munich, Germany
F11 Foto Museum, Hong Kong
Kindai University, Osaka, Japan
Kiyosato Photo Art Museum, Nagano, Japan
Private collections

Books from Kosuke OKAHARA