MARCH 28  — APRIL 4, 2023


TOKYO (MARCH 28–30, 2023) + NAHA,
OKINAWA (APRIL 2–4, 2023)

Join FotoFilmic and acclaimed Canadian photographer Greg Girard for an 8-day traveling workshop in Japan right at the start of the famed ‘Sakura’ (Cherry Blossoms) season! Split between the ever bustling capital Tokyo and the famed Okinawa island at the far south end of the country, participants will follow in the footsteps of Greg’s iconic career creating new work in both locales. The workshop program will include directed assignments and follow up critiques, in-depth portfolio reviews of the participants’ work, presentations by Greg of his own work plus his reviews of key influential Japanese photographers, as well as a studio visit and talk with Yasuko Tōmatsu – the widow and collaborator of late Japanese photography legend Shōmei Tōmatsu! A two-day traveling recess is also part of the workshop schedule allowing participants plenty of time to relocate from Tokyo to Naha, Okinawa. 


How possible is it to make meaningful work in a country you’ve never been? In an environment where you can’t verbally communicate? In a place you’ve only experienced second-hand via social media, mainstream media, film, books etc? Or in a city you know next to nothing about but where, for one reason or another, you find yourself?

Greg Girard will present work from his thirty-year career living in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai, photographing across Asia from the 1970s until now. He will discuss the approaches that have served in producing books like “City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City”, “Phantom Shanghai”, “Hotel Okinawa” and other bodies of work about places where in one way or another Girard began as an “outsider”. In a globalized world where images are untethered from geography what does it mean be to be a photographer from “elsewhere”.

Participants will present portfolios of current work for review, and photograph an assignment in Tokyo and Okinawa. A JRNL style newsprint publication featuring edits of the new work participants created during the workshop will be published by FotoFilmic. Participants will each be mailed a free hard copy.


[subject to change]
Tuesday March 28 [Tokyo]

Morning: Greg Girard’s lecture + assignment hand out
Afternoon: participants’ portfolio reviews
Evening: participants start photographing for their assignment

Wednesday March 29 [Tokyo]
All day: participants’ portfolio reviews

Thursday March 30 [Tokyo]
All day: assignment critiques
Evening: participants continue photographing for their assignment

Friday March 31 + Saturday April 1 [Tokyo -> Okinawa]
Traveling from Tokyo to Naha, Okinawa

Sunday April 2 [Naha, Okinawa]
Morning: Greg Girard’s lecture
Afternoon: assignment critiques continue
Evening: participants continue photographing for their assignment

Monday April 3 [Naha, Okinawa]
Morning: assignment critiques continue
Afternoon: Yasuko Tomatsu in conversation with Greg Girard (talk + studio visit)
Evening: participants continue photographing for their assignment

Tuesday April 4 [Naha, Okinawa]
All day: final assignment critiques + editing for FotoFilmic newsprint publication

Cover images © Top: Greg Girard, Hotel Room View, Naha, 1982. From the book JAL 1976-1988. Bottom: Greg Girard, Shinjuku, 1979. From the book Tokyo – Yokosuka.

© Greg Girard, Kebukuro Subway Station, 1976. From the book Tokyo-Yokosuka.

© Greg Girard, Naha Buildings, Okinawa. 2012. From the book Hotel Okinawa,

© Greg Girard, Audrey, Okinawa. 2012. From the book Hotel Okinawa.



Greg Girard is a Canadian photographer who has spent much of his career in Asia. His work has examined the social and physical transformations in Asia, especially in its largest cities, for more than four decades. He is the author of several photographic books. City of Darkness Revisited, published 2014, revives an early collaboration with co-author Ian Lambot, and updates their influential book, City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City (Watermark, 1993). Based in Shanghai between 1998 and 2011, his photographic monograph, Phantom Shanghai (Magenta, Toronto, 2007), with a foreword by novelist William Gibson, looks at the rapid and at times violent changes in China’s largest city as Shanghai raced to remake itself at the beginning of the 21st Century. Other recent titles include JAL 76-88 (Kominek, Berlin), Tokyo-Yokosuka 1976-1983, (Magenta, Toronto, 2019), Hotel Okinawa, (The Velvet Cell, Osaka, 2017); Under Vancouver 1972-1982 (Magenta, Toronto, 2017); Hanoi Calling (Magenta, Toronto, 2010); and In the Near Distance (Kominek, Berlin, 2010), a book of early photographs made in Asia and North America between 1973 and 1986. The International Centre of Photography in New York featured his series “Half the Surface of the World”, a survey of US military bases and their host communities in Asia, in 2012. His work is in the collection of National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery, M+ Museum Hong Kong, and other public and private collections. National Geographic Magazine in a special issue in 2022 cited his photograph from a story on gene editing, titled ‘The DNA Revolution’, as one of this century’s ‘100 best photos’. Recently, in collaboration with Fotofilmic, he has been conducting photography workshops with intermediate and advanced photography students. The first was conducted in Seoul, Korea, in early 2020. The next workshop, titled “Photographing Where You Don’t Belong”, will be held in Tokyo and Okinawa, Japan, in the spring of 2023. He is represented by Monte Clark Gallery, North America; Blue Lotus Gallery, Hong Kong; and Kominek Gallery, Berlin.



EARLY BIRD and PAST ATTENDEE Applications closed on December 21, 2022

REGULAR Applications closed on December 27, 2022

WAITLIST Applications closed on January 15, 2022



Flights, local transportation, accommodations and meals are not included in the registration fees. A detailed information packet will be sent to confirmed participants to help coordinate their stay in Tokyo and Naha, Okinawa, inclusive of accommodations options and local transportation directions.



TOKYO workshop location
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (TOP Museum)
1-13-3 Mita, Meguro-ku,
Tokyo, 153-0062

NAHA workshop location:
Okinawa Hotel
35, Daido, Naha-shi,
Okinawa, 902-0066



Applications to register are free (no fee to apply). Enrolment will be limited to just 12 participants. Photographers from all educational backgrounds and at all career stages are welcome to apply (film & digital). A portfolio of 10-20 images focused on past and/or ongoing projects must be submitted as a prerequisite for consideration (please include images from no more than 2 different series/projects).



Selected applicants invited to register are required to confirm their participation by sending either a $1000 USD tuition deposit,  or a full Early-bird/Regular tuition payment.

If choosing to send a registration deposit, the remaining tuition balance will then come due in full by Tuesday, January 31, 2023.



The deadline to withdraw your participation and request a refund is Tuesday, January 31, 2023. Please note a US $500 cancelation fee remains applicable. Cancelation and refund requests received after Tuesday, January 31, 2023 will not be accepted.

In the event the program was not meeting minimum enrolment, or needed to be canceled for any reason, paid tuition will be refunded in full without any cancelation fee. Please also note FotoFilmic cannot be held responsible for any traveling expense refunds if the program gets canceled: purchasing travel insurance is therefore highly recommended.



For any questions or inquiries, please contact FotoFilmic Co-Director Bastien Desfriches Doria directly at



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