The Telegraph
Tuesday , November 20 , 2012
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Connection with Japanese art to take centre stage

- Weeklong show in Bhubaneswar to promote Odisha as cultural hub and celebrate art forms

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 19: Japanese artistes from various fields will visit and perform here during The Art Connection — a weeklong programme of cultural exchange.

To be hosted by the city-based cultural organisation, Mudra Foundation, the event, conceptualised by Japanese Odissi and contemporary dancer Masako Ono, is an introductory festival for a bigger celebration of the state’s culture, Odisha Biennale 2013.

The foundation will launch Odisha Biennale next year as a convention of artistes of visual and performing arts from all over the world. The Art Connection will begin on November 25 to create awareness about the event. The festival will provide an interaction between artistes in Odisha and Tokyo through workshops, dance performances, exhibitions by traditional and contemporary artistes as well as film professionals.

“India and Japan have a history of cultural exchange, mostly because of the spread of Buddhism from India to Japan via China. Our cultures have a strong impact on each other. The Odisha Biennale aims to promote Odisha as a cultural hub and bring together tribal, folk, classical and contemporary art forms from all over the world under one roof,” said Masako.

“It will also include workshops at orphanages and deaf and mute schools to share art and creativity with all art lovers,” she said.

The Art Connection is approved as the event of the 60th anniversary of the set up of diplomatic relations between the two countries and is supported by the Consulate General of Japan, Calcutta.

The programme will include workshops by Japanese artistes such as fashion designer Yuichi Gou, film director Koto Nagata, photographer Takayasu hattori, videographer Mitabi Kobayashi, media artiste Kunihiko Matsuo, Butoh dancer Yuko Kominami, graphic designer Chiaki Aizawa, designer Nanako Koyama, film producer Koji Hirano and performances by Masako and her group. The performances will be hosted at Utkal Mandap and an art exhibition will be organised at Rashtriya Lalit Kala Akademi.

“The introductory festival, to be concluded on December 2, will feature Japanese and Odisha artistes while the Odisha Biennale will include international performers,” said Masako.