Exhibition promotes understanding of Japanese culture, awareness of indigenous Indian products

CHENNAI: Beneath the soft yellow lights at the Amethyst exhibition hall in Gopalapuram are displayed Japanese dolls, and paper and cloth products made from Indian fibre and dyes.

Yoshiaki Kodaki, Consul General of Japan, inaugurating the `Introduction of Japanese Traditional Craft Arts' on Tuesday, said the Society for Mutual Aid Networking Environment Education and Development (SOMNEED) used Indian raw materials for works displayed at the SOMNEED pavilion at the Aichi world exhibition, in which 22 million people participated last year.

Kei Narita, Japanese artist, said the Japanese could use Indian products for their art works, the Consul General said.


He added that the art also gave one an opportunity to earn a livelihood.

SOMNEED is a Japanese non-governmental organisation working for the poor in South India.

While providing an understanding of Japanese culture, the exhibition also creates an awareness of the commercial and cultural value of indigenous Indian products, he said.

Kiran Rao, director of Amethyst, said the exhibition was a unique display of intricate crafts.

Ms. Narita, a Japanese artist with 5,000 disciples, has showcased her works at the exhibition. She has demonstrated some of the Japanese traditional arts such as natural dyeing, hand paper making and paper doll making. The exhibition is on till Friday.

Incense burners

A demonstration of how to make incense burners with paper strips, representation of Tamil and Telugu words for `earth' and `water' in Japanese calligraphy (by Rin Domon), depiction of `prayer', `heaven', `earth' and `mankind' using Japanese Mio Ningyo dolls (by Mihoko Sugiura), paper swathing lamps in Akiko Yamamoto's Light, `Flying in the Sky', which is a dyed cloth wall hanging by Ichiyanagi Noriko, cloths wrapped in paper by Keiko Yamamoto, and a representation of Sky, Ocean and Wind in India by Miyuki Kanai are some of the highlights of the exhibition.

Akiko Kodaki, wife of the Consul General, and Sakura Ozaki from the Cultural Department of the Japanese Consulate in Chennai, visited the exhibition.