Japanese painter finds inspiration in Vietnamese scenery

Thursday, 2013-11-21 17:31:19
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Hoi An old quarter
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Nhan Dan Online – Thirty one paintings by Japanese artist Toba Mika go on display on November 23 at an exhibition entitled ‘Landscapes in Memory’ at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum.

The paintings, mostly produced over the past three years using the katazome dyeing technique, feature the beauty of many tourist attractions in Vietnam, such as Cho Lon Market in Ho Chi Minh City, the streets of Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem district, Hoi An’s old quarter, and the meandering river around Hue city.

Mika has also planned an exchange with students at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts University.

Born in 1961 in Aichi prefecture, Mika is currently a lecturer at the Kyoto City University of Arts, where she earned an MA. She first visited Vietnam in 1994, and Vietnamese scenes have become the main theme in her paintings. Her first exhibition in Vietnam was organised in Hanoi in 2001 under the theme ‘Katazome dyeing technique and Vietnamese landscapes’.

She has brought the katazome technique, a longstanding Japanese dyeing method, to the world of painting. In the technique, which was traditionally used to dye kimonos, fabrics are dyed with patterns using a resistant paste applied through a stencil. Mika has adapted the process to create large-scale paintings and a new form of contemporary art.

She was awarded the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Award in 2012 for her contribution to promoting friendship between Japan and Vietnam through her artwork. She has also won nearly 20 art prizes and has held 40 exhibitions – both collective and solo – in Japan, the UK and Vietnam.