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KATAYOSE Ryota talks about the appeal of art tourism: "Art sets people free".

Updated: Jan 11

"Study: Osaka Kansai International Art Festival Vol.3" & "Art Tourism" website launch special project

KATAYOSE Ryota, a native of Yao City, Osaka Prefecture and a member of the dance and vocal group "GENERATIONS," captivates people with his singing, dancing, and acting, but he is also an art enthusiast. He has purchased artworks from galleries and displayed them in his home, and in recent years, he has been expanding his activities as a supporter of art events.

In this report, we will closely observe KATAYOSE san on location for the TV program "Invitation from Musa -ART TOURISM-" (Kantele, December 21 (Thu.) 24:40-25:10), in conjunction with the "Study: Osaka Kansai International Art Festival Vol.3" and the launch of the "Art Tourism" website. The program will focus on the appeal of "art tourism" experienced in the city of Osaka and KATAYOSE-san's passion for art.

KATAYOSE RyotaBorn in 1994. From Yao City, Osaka Prefecture. Born into a musical family, he started playing the piano at an early age and has an absolute sense of pitch. In November 2012, he made his major debut as a vocalist of GENERATIONS. 2014, he started acting in the drama "GTO". 2021, he became the first Japanese ambassador of GIVENCHY. 2023, February, he became an official supporter of "MEET YOUR ART FAIR In February 2023, he became an official supporter of the "RE:FACTORY" ART FAIR, and in October 2023, he became the Yao Tourism Creation Ambassador for Osaka, and in November 2023, he became the 30th anniversary ambassador for Cerezo Osaka. As an artist and actor, he is expanding his activities in diverse areas in Japan and abroad.

【Study:Osaka Kansai International Art Festival Vol.3 Outline】

Exhibition Period: December 23 (Sat.) - December 28 (Thu.), 2023

Venues: Semba Excel Building, Kamagasaki University of Art and Design, Nishinari area, etc.

Official Web Site:

◯Art & Creative Fair

Preview : Dec. 22 (Fri.) (by invitation only)

Open to the public: Saturday, December 23 - Sunday, December 24

Venue: Grand Front Osaka B2F Congrès Convention Center

◯Creative Business Contest "StARTs UPs"

Final Pitch: December 23rd (Saturday)

Venue: Grand Front Osaka North B2F Congrès Convention Center

Organized by: ARTLOGUE, Inc.(Study: Osaka Kansai International Art Festival Office)、Japan Arts Council, Agency for Cultural Affairs

Coming in touch with the magnificent art towering over Umeda, Osaka

The first place headed for is "MIND-BODY COLUMN" by Antony Gormley, a leading contemporary sculptor in the United Kingdom. Towering between the skyscrapers of downtown Umeda, Osaka, is a magnificent monument of more than 15 meters high, piled up with human figures. The location was shot on a weekday at noon. The area was sparsely populated, and the natural light gave the ironwork a variety of expressions. Katayose-san looks up at the spectacular public artwork.

"I never thought I would find art like this in the middle of the city. Art is actually hidden in everyday scenery, isn't it? There are not many people on the street, so in a sense, it is now a hidden spot. I have a feeling that it will attract more people and become a tourist attraction in the future."

He quietly stares at the work and contemplates the world of the artwork.

When the shooting is over, Katayose-san claps his hands in place of a clapperboard. Everyone is in a relaxed mood, laughing and enjoying themselves.

Antony Gormley in front of "MIND-BODY COLUMN" (2000).

A tower of 10 sculptures representing the artist's own body.

「Le Pont de Ciel」 French Restaurant in Yodoyabashi, OsakaArt, wine - enjoy food in a restaurant full of “likes”

LE PONT DE CIEL is a French restaurant in Yodoyabashi. Antony Gormley's work "ANOTHER TIME IV" welcomed us here as well. The 190-centimeter figure of the artist's own body is installed directly on the ground, giving visitors the feeling of actually being face to face with a person.

Antony Gormley《ANOTHER TIME IV》(2007)

Upon entering the restaurant, one is greeted by a space with artwork scattered throughout. Walking through the monastery-like corridor with white walls and high ceilings and past the wine cellars, you are illuminated by faint lights and see numerous works of art that seem to float in the air. Works by Jiro Takamatsu and Yoshishige Saito, who led Japanese avant-garde art, and works by Sadamasa Motonaga and Takesada Matsutani, who belonged to the Gutai Art Association (GUTAI), are displayed, inviting visitors into the profound world of abstract painting.

TAKAMATSU Jiro, "Paper Unit" (1972)

After taking your time to taste the avant-garde art, you will be welcomed by the chef in the open kitchen to have French cuisine. The dish "Small Salad of Garden Vegetables with Raspberry Ecume and Tuile," delicately layered with colorful vegetables, is like a work of art. The main dish, "Roasted French Pigeon Breast with Culet Caillette, Lily Root and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Jus," was prepared using a wood-fired oven. It crackled and a savory aroma wafted through the air.

The chef will serve a "small salad of garden vegetables, raspberry ecume and tuile."

Roasted French pigeon breast, cassoulet, lily bulb and Brussels sprouts, roasted jus.

It's so delicious," Katayose-san said, savoring the dish as she chewed it over and over. When asked by the chef what he likes, he replied, "I love to eat, so I eat everything. I also love wine. The wine cellar you just showed me, I could sleep in there! I can sleep in the wine cellar you just showed me!

Food, art, and wine. This restaurant is filled with all my favorite things.

YANOBE Kenji's masterpiece 《SHIP'S CAT (MUSE)》

Approaching the background of the work through dialogue with the artist

Nakanoshima is the center of administration, economy, and culture of Osaka. Our destination is the Osaka Nakanoshima Art Museum, which just opened in 2022. In the plaza in front of the museum, children were running around and their cheerful voices echoed. Thinking we were about to enter the museum, Katayose-san stopped in front of an object.

In front of YANOBE Kenji's SHIP'S CAT(Muse)

A giant cat sits in a suit that looks like a space suit. Its bright orange color stands out against the black box-like exterior of the museum. This unique work is "Ship's Cat (Muse)" by YANOBE Kenji, a contemporary artist from Ibaraki City, Osaka. It has such a strong presence that even passersby on the street stop to look at it.

Then, to his surprise, YANOBE Kenji himself, the creator of this work, appeared. Katayose-san's curiosity overflowed in front of Mr. Yanobe. He told Mr. Yanobe what he thought of the work and asked him what he liked about it.

"What is the significance of the feathers on the chest?" "Why the orange?"

Mr. Yanobe said, "Very good question" from his sharp point of view.The two quickly became comfortable with each other and exchanged words about their works from a variety of angles while chatting and laughing.

Katayose-san values dialogue with artists very highly. When he purchases his own collection, he talks directly with the artists at the gallery before making a purchase. Also for this time, he had many conversations with Mr. YANOBE Kenji, which led to a great deal of insight.

Mr. Yanobe was very approachable and told me a lot of stories when I asked him questions. The more I asked him, the more deeply I felt about the artwork. The more I listened to him, the more deeply I felt the artwork. I realized that there is a big reason why the artwork exists where it does. I felt that Mr. Yanobe created this work with a strong pursuit of that reason.

"SHIP'S CAT(MUSE)" is based on the motif of a familiar cat. Katayose-san discusses its appeal as follows.

What impressed me the most was the "cuteness" of the work. Many people who saw the work said it was "cute," and I myself found it cute, but at the same time I thought it was more than just cute. In fact, when I talked to Mr. Yanobe, he said that cuteness was one of the key points. But rather than adding something to express cuteness, I felt that he was pursuing the cuteness of existence itself. It was very interesting that he used "the cuteness of babies" as an example. I felt that the sense of "not only cute" that I felt at first must be an expression of Yanobe's own roots and past experiences in his work. I think it is a work with great depth.

Conrad Osaka, a luxury hotel in the sky

Be captivated by artworks that change their expression depending on the light.

The last art spot we visited was the Conrad Osaka, a luxury hotel in Nakanoshima. The hotel's concept is "Your Address in the Sky," and 389 artworks are on display throughout the hotel. After viewing MATSUO Takahiro's "Phenomenon," a video installation at the entrance, visitors ascending to the top 40th floor are greeted by NAWA Kohei's "Fu / Rai," an artwork featuring the Wind and Thunder Gods. The work is based on the motif of the Wind God and Thunder God statues, and the light streaming in from the open panoramic view is mesmerizing in the shadows of the spheres arranged in a rhythmic pattern.

How did Katayose-san feel as he looked at the night view of Osaka from the windows and the artwork that changes its expression depending on the light? Please look forward to the on-air broadcast of the program from here on!

NAWA Kohei《Fu / Rai》

While on the site, interviewed Katayose-san about the existence of art for him, his expectations for Osaka, and a wide range of other topics. Here is our interview with him, in which we get closer to the source of his expression.

My stay in New York City sparked my interest in art

Experienced art tourism at the age of 19

Katayose-san was born in Yao City, Osaka. With a father who is a music teacher, he grew up in an environment where music was central to his life. He has an absolute sense of pitch and has enjoyed playing the piano since he was four years old. Although he was surrounded by an artistic environment, he had little awareness of art. He says that his stay in New York City when he was 19 years old provided him with a great opportunity.

"I first became interested in art when I was 19 years old, traveling alone to New York City. I headed to New York to take singing lessons and also because I wanted to feel the energy of this global cultural capital. At the time, I was struggling with my group activities, trying to figure out what I was lacking and how I could contribute to the group, and I was in my last years as a teenager and felt like I had some things left to do, so I went to New York."

“When I decided to go to New York, the office suggested that I should go to New York and visit art museums. It was true art tourism. While taking singing lessons, I walked around New York alone in my spare time, visiting prominent museums such as MOMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As I viewed diverse works of art, I gradually realized that art had become an entity that set my mind free. I was no longer thinking to myself, "This is the way it has to be. I felt myself being liberated from the conflicting thoughts of "I have to be this way, or this isn't good enough. As I came into contact with the styles of many artists, I began to wonder if I should be free to be myself, as long as I am allowed to call myself an artist. From there, I began to realize the value and interest of art.”

The encounter with art has given me a chance to face the core of my own expression.

Katayose-san says that his encounter with art made him realize the core of himself as an artist.

“Each expression can have its own way of understanding. There should be free expression. While thinking so, I also have the feeling that I want to "reach as many people as possible. I think there will always be a conflict between individual expression and expression that is accepted by the masses.However, it is not the case that everything should pander to the masses. When I am facing art, I am aware of what I should not lose, the things that I am particular about, and my own pride, and I try to cherish them.Is this something you want to cherish as an artist and as a person, when I meet artists who express themselves freely, I ask myself, "What is my own definition of freedom?" I think that's the core of me, and I want to cherish it. I feel that I receive such inspiration from art.”

Everyone's happiness and my own uncomfortable feeling, both of which are important.

If I had to describe my current core, it would be 'everyone's happiness' and 'my own sense of discomfort. I value both. I am the type of person who wants to make choices that make everyone happy. I am the type of person who wants to reach a conclusion that everyone will like. On the other hand, I also say some reckless things (laughs). I am also very sensitive to discomfort. If I feel discomfort, there is probably something there. Sometimes it is a good feeling of discomfort, and other times it is better to change it. By valuing the feeling of discomfort, I have the sense that the core of myself is being sharpened.

The harmony of the whole and the core of himself. In this location shooting, there were many scenes where Katayose-san's comments made the scene more relaxed. At the same time, when asked about her artwork, her own words flowed out without hesitation. We could sense Katayose-san's attitude of respecting harmony while trying to be true to his own sensibility.

Art sets people free.

I have come to accept myself as I am.

He talked about his experience of staying in New York and meeting artists at galleries. He also talked about the sense of "art makes people free" that he has often felt.

「Art sets people free. I think that sense of freedom is a way of transforming what is originally in me into a conviction. For example, I am afraid of what is in front of me, but I don't want to be afraid. I think, "I should just fail," but I don't want to fail. I sometimes fall into such a dilemma. But I accept myself as I am now, saying, "No matter what happens, that's who I am." I think that feeling is connected to freedom. So, standing on stage without fear or in front of a camera is one form of expression, and I think it is my way of being an artist. I think the fact that I accept my anxiety and hesitation, and at the same time, I am convinced of my own senses, is connected to the words, "Let me be free".」

From the Collection TAKEDA Teppei《Study for flowers》(2020)

The best part of living with art is that the artwork becomes something that one can rely on.

Katayose-san has been inspired by art and has continued his artistic activities while freeing his own sensibilities. What kind of art does he love in his private life? We asked Katayose-san about his collection.

「In my home, I have several pieces of artwork that I purchased from artists at galleries. Through communication with the artist, I often learn about his/her way of thinking and the thoughts he/she puts into his/her works, which leads me to purchase them. There are few three-dimensional works, and most of them are paintings. An artist I have been interested in recently is YAMADA Kohei. His works are both pop and abstract, and the colors are to my liking. I think his works would be suitable for a cheerful region like Spain, but I also feel that there is something slightly insidious or delicate about them, as if they were created by a Japanese person. I would like to visit his solo exhibition someday and see his works in person.」

Today, people tend to think of art as something to be viewed rather than purchased. When we asked Katayose-san what he thinks is the best part of living with art, he answered as follows.

「When a favorite work of art is close at hand, it becomes a source of comfort. Placing artwork in a very personal place in our daily lives gives us a sense that it supports our lives and enhances those private moments. Playing your favorite music is one way to heal, but I think that art has great power in that it is immediately noticeable in your daily life. Also, when I am looking at an artwork, I only think about the artwork and nothing else. I feel that such time tends to be lost when I am busy with work. When I am confronted with art, I become aware of the work itself and remember the time when I purchased it. I think one of the attractions of having art close to you is that you can enjoy the time that the work itself contains. Many people find art to be a source of emotional support in their daily lives. I personally hope that such a culture will be created.」

From the Collection SANO Ryusuke《CACTUS》(right)

From the Collection SATO Makoto《appearance》

I was excited about the city's vitality.Looking forward to Osaka's future with world-class art event coming up

Katayose-san visited four art spots in the city of Osaka this time. He talked about his hopes for the future in Osaka, where world-class art events such as the upcoming 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo and the Osaka Kansai International Art Festival are scheduled to take place.

「With the preparations for events such as the Osaka-Kansai Expo, the city of Osaka is becoming more vibrant, isn't it? I was very excited to see the artworks that lurked in the city and felt the air of "here it comes" as it grew brighter and brighter. I have a feeling that the places we visited today will eventually become places where many more people will gather. I am sure that Osaka will be very active in the future, and having had the opportunity to experience just a small part of what Osaka has to offer makes me even more excited about the future of the city.」

Walking along Nakanoshima and Dojima River

I would like to continue to go on art tourism trips

Art time including the time to make plans

How was the art tourism you experienced this time for Katayose-san? Katayose-san looks back on his trip.

「The work that left a particularly strong impression on me was Antony Gormley's "MIND-BODY COLUMN," which I saw at the beginning of the tour. I felt that I saw art that coexisted with the city, a kind of "urban fusion". It has a strong presence amidst the buildings, but at the same time it blends in with the landscape. It was also interesting that because it is a three-dimensional work, it can be viewed from any angle. It had a strong presence from all angles, which made me realize that this work was born to be in the city.」

「I would definitely like to go on an art tourism trip again. I think that when you look at a city from the perspective of art, you can have a different destination and a different kind of trip than before. It would be interesting to find my own original course before the trip. It is also fun to think of someone in your mind and say, 'I want to take this person to an art spot. I think the time spent making such plans is part of art. I would like to go out again, enjoying myself in that way.」

Art transcends language and national borders

I want to be a bridge between the two.

At the end of the interview, we asked Katayose-san what kind of activities he would like to pursue in the field of art in the future.

「Art does not require language. In that sense, art is one of the important key points that connect countries. Artwork transcends national borders and languages. Ever since I was a student, I had a vague idea that someday I would like to leave Japan and engage in work that connects countries. Currently, I am interested in music, which is my job, as well as art, wine, and other things that are like a common language that transcends national borders. It would be wonderful if I could encounter such situations that bridge the world with art in the future.」

Relive Art Tourism from KATAYOSE Ryota's Perspective!

The existence of art is deeply connected to Katayose-san's activities. We cannot take our eyes off how Katayose-san's expression will continue to change in the future.

"Invitation from Musa - ART TOURISM" is scheduled to be broadcast on Kantele on Thursday, December 21 from 24:40 to 25:10. The content of the program will give viewers a sense of the charm of Osaka's representative art spots, such as Antony Gormley's and YANOBE Kenji's public art, Le Pont de Ciel and Conrad Osaka, which we toured this time, from Katayose-san's point of view.

In addition, "Study: Osaka Kansai International Art Festival Vol. 3" will be held from December 23 (Saturday) to December 28 (Saturday) in the Umeda, Nakanoshima, Semba, and Nishinari areas, where Osaka is drenched in art. Art & Creative Fair" where art can be purchased will be held at Grand Front Congress Convention Center on December 23 and 24. Please watch the program and join Katayose-san on a journey to enjoy art.

【Study:Osaka Kansai International Art Festival Vol.3 Outline】

Dates: Saturday, December 23 - Thursday, December 28

Exhibition venues: Semba Excel Building, Kamagasaki University of the Arts, Nishinari area, etc.

◯Art & Creative Fair

Preview : Friday, December 22 (by invitation only)

Open to the public: Saturday, December 23 - Sunday, December 24

Venue: Grand Front Osaka, B2F Congrès Convention Center

◯Creative Business Contest "StARTs UPs"

Final Pitch: December 23rd (Saturday)

Venue: Grand Front Osaka North B2F Congrès Convention Center

Organized by ARTLOGUE, Inc.(Study:Osaka Kansai International Art Festival Office)、Japan Arts Council, Agency for Cultural Affairs

Basic Information

Antony Gormley《MIND-BODY COLUMN》


3-3 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture / Central Square on the west side of JR Osaka Station

Access from the nearest station

Approx. 5 minutes walk from JR "Osaka" station, Osaka Metro "Nishi-Umeda" station, and JR/Hanshin Line "Fukushima" station



B1, Nippon Seimei Yodoyabashi Building, 3-5-29 Kitahama, Chuo-ku, Osaka

Opening hours

  • Lunch time 11:30 - (last order 13:00)

  • Dinner time: 17:30 - (last order 19:30)


Sunday, Monday, Holidays

Access from the nearest station

Osaka Metro "Yodoyabashi" station, about 1 minute walk from Yodoyabashi bus stop

Official Website



In front of Osaka Nakanoshima Art Museum, 4-3-1 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

Access from the nearest station

  • 5 minutes on foot to the southwest from Exit 2 of Watanabebashi Station on the Keihan Nakanoshima Line

  • 10 minutes on foot to the west from Exit 4 of Higobashi Station on the Osaka Metro Yotsubashi Line

  • 10 minutes on foot to the south from Exit 2 of "Fukushima" station on the JR Osaka Loop Line and "Shin-Fukushima" station on the Tozai Line.

  • 10 min. walk to the south from "Fukushima" station on Hanshin Line

Opening hours

10:00-17:00 (admission until 16:30)


Mondays (or the following weekday if Monday is a national holiday)

Official Website

Conrad Osaka


3-2-4 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

Access from the nearest station

By train

  • Direct connection from Exit 4 of Higobashi Station on Osaka Metro Yotsubashi Line and Exit 12 of Watanabebashi Station on Keihan Nakanoshima Line.

  • Osaka Metro Midosuji Line and Keihan Main Line "Yodoyabashi" station, 6 minutes walk from Exit 7

  • 5 minutes drive from JR "Osaka" station

By Car

  • 5 minutes from "Tosabori" Exit on the Wangan Line, Hanshin Expressway Route 4





Official Website


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