Zen Foto Gallery is pleased to present Hitomi Watanabe’s photography exhibition “Tenjiku in Colour” from March 25 to April 23, 2022. This marks Watanabe’s third solo presentation with Zen Foto Gallery since her previous exhibitions “Tokyo University 1968–1969—Behind the Blockade” in 2015 and “Tekiya” in 2017.

Ever since Hitomi Watanabe first visited India and Nepal in 1972, her photography series “Tenjiku” taken in the two countries has become her life work. This exhibition will showcase a selection of colour photographs from the series. In “Tenjiku”, Watanabe continued to visually document her spiritual experiences since the 1970s. The color photographs she took in the 1980s beautifully express the daily lives of the people and the energy of the land through her sensitivity. As it has become more difficult to travel these days due to the covid-19 pandemic, we hope you will enjoy the journey of images in this exhibition.

Artist Profile


Hitomi Watanabe graduated from Tokyo College of Photography [Tokyo Sogo Shashin Gakko] in 1968. She presented her works under the title “World of the Street Hawkers” in her graduating exhibition, and continued photographing and publishing the series in magazines such as “Shashin Graphic” and “Shashin Eizo”. Around the same time, when she was taking photos in the streets of Shinjuku, she encountered and began documenting the Zen-kyoto student movement. In 1972, she began traveling through Asia. When she visited India and Nepal, she felt she has found the home of her soul, and decided to stay longer. After returning to Japan, her photography has become essentially a spiritual documentation to convey a message to the living spirits.