LAHORE - Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Hiroshi Inomata Wednesday inaugurated two exhibitions titled ‘Contemporary Japan Caught by Lens’ and ‘Evolving Imagery Ukiyoe and Contemporary Prints from Japan’ at Alhamra Art Gallery. The Japanese Embassy organised the event to be last until November 8.

MNA Pervez Malik, Shaista Pervez, ex minister Mian Imran Masood, National College of Arts Principal Dr Murtaza Jafri, Punjab Information Secretary Momin Agha, Alhamra Arts Council Executive Director Muhammad Ali Baloch, Pakistan Japan Cultural Association President Dr Ghazala Irfan, Lahore Arts Foundation Trust Director Sabah Hussain, Japanese Embassy official and others were present on the occasion.

‘Contemporary Japan Caught by Lens’ is a collection of photos taken by Pakistani photographer Jahangir Khan, who went to Japan on a short-term photojournalism training programme organised by Asahi Shimbun Institute of Journalism from October 2009 to March 2010. Around 150 pictures have been displayed, showing many different aspects of Japan, such as rural and city life, traditional and contemporary buildings, festivals, sports, and so on.

‘Evolving Imagery Ukiyoe and Contemporary Prints from Japan’ is arranged by Lahore Arts Foundation Trust Director Saba Hussain in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan and Alhamra Arts Council. Ambassador Inomata appreciated her work, dedication, and continuous efforts for the promotion of Japanese art in Pakistan under the umbrella of Lahore Arts Foundation.

The Ambassador said, “This is my very first visit to Lahore. It is a beautiful and lovely city. I instantly found the people here are very lively and welcoming. Lahore is called the cultural hub of Pakistan, as I understand, and our embassy has been arranging variety cultural events and activities in this city from time to time.”

He said appreciated the work of Jahangir Khan. He said the creativity and the artistic ability of the photographer was well seen from these photographs which showed different socio-cultural aspects of Japan. This exhibition was also held in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad, he said.

Appreciating the organizer of other exhibition ‘Evolving Imagery Ukiyoe and Contemporary Prints from Japan’, the ambassador said Saba Hussain had explained much about Japanese prints. About Ukiyo-e, he said, “Ukiyo-e is often translated as “floating world”; the meaning of which is closer to “the world at this moment in time” Ukiyo-e is the Japanese woodblock prints of the Edo era (160 3-1867). Typical subjects include pictures of beautiful women, birds and flowers, the Kabuki Theater and famous landscapes etc. Ukiyo-e extended a strong influence on some of the Impressionists for example, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet etc.”

He thanked Sabah Hussain for taking the initiative of introducing this unique art to the people of Pakistan.  She, having been to Kyoto City University of Arts for her Masters, has organized various art exhibitions with the Embassy in past as well. “I deeply appreciate her work, dedication and continuous efforts for the promotion of Japanese art in Pakistan under the umbrella of Lahore Art Foundation Trust.

Her commendable hard work for this exhibition, I believe, will further enhance the cordial relations between two countries” he remarked. He also thanked Punjab secretary information, Alhamara Arts Council and participants of inauguration ceremony as well. The ambassador took round of both exhibitions and took keen interest in the art work and photographs.