Beverley Art Gallery has teamed up with the University of Hull and Ochanomizu University in Tokyo to get a group of Japanese students to collaborate on a future exhibition.
The exhibition, 'Reflections of Japan in the East Riding,' was originally planned for the autumn of 2020, but will now most probably be postponed into 2021. The exhibition will feature artwork related to Japan from across East Riding Museums, and will also feature exciting loans.
A group of students visited the Art Gallery before lockdown began, and shared their knowledge of the country and its culture with the Art Gallery team.
Beverley Art Gallery curator Helena Cox said: “I was absolutely delighted to welcome these brilliant Japanese students to the gallery, and I loved the presentations they prepared for us. The students have undertaken lots of research which will be part of the upcoming exhibition. I was particularly blown away to see the students' research of our collections, bringing a new angle to the interpretation of our artwork.”
Tomoko Miyairi, Module Leader in Japanese at the University of Hull, added:
“Our Japanese students were very excited when they knew that they had an opportunity to deliver their presentations at Beverley Art Gallery. After they came to Hull, they practised and rehearsed very hard with my British students, and they really enjoyed video-recording their performance. I hope that we continue such cultural exchange between local people in Beverley and Japanese students who come to the University of Hull.”
The biggest loan to the exhibition will be a whole collection of traditional Japanese toys from a private collector, Jane Irisa, who previously worked for the Asian department of the British Library and has travelled to Japan. Now based in the East Riding, Jane is delighted to share her passion for Japanese toys with local audiences.
Jane Irisa said : “I’m really excited to be able to share my love for these beautiful toys with everyone. Made from inexpensive, everyday materials, these hand made toys, dolls, and souvenirs bring us joy, spark our imaginations and remind us of how we are all connected together as human beings, with history, the environment and beliefs about the divine and supernatural.
“Children will immediately relate to their playful charm, and grownups will be interested in the craftsmanship, and the history and legends surrounding them. I do hope visitors will fall in love with them and enjoy the exhibition and activities.”
Further details of the exhibition at Beverley Art Gallery will be publicised in due course.