Japanese art of Kogei shows spirit of ancient capital
Update: Nov 15, 2013
The spirit of Japan's ancient capital Kyoto is on display at an exhibition at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi.

Titled Art of Kogei – Spirit of Kyoto, the exhibition features a unique collection of 50 Kogei-style contemporary artworks by 25 renowned artists as well as younger artists whose creativity has earned them recognition in recent years. All the artists are members of the Kogei Kyoto artistic group.

The Kogei collection consists of ceramics, textiles, metal works, urushi (lacquer work), wood, and bamboo.

Kogei is an authentic Japanese art form that requires the practical use of nature's artistic beauty by using organic materials such as stone, minerals, trees and plants. Some Kogei masters have been honoured by the Japanese government as living national treasures.

Kyoto's Kogei works are well refined by their senses, and have been developed for more than 1,200 years of restless innovation, encompassing the spirit of Kyoto's cu lture.

Speaking at the exhibition's opening ceremony, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Hiroshi Fukada said the display aimed to introduce Kyoto's traditional art form.

"I believe that the exhibition will offer a chance for Vietnamese visitors to discover and learn more about Kyoto – a historical city that represents Japanese culture and beauty as well as its highly sophisticated handicrafts."

According to a representative from Kogei Kyoto, Masayuki Imai, this is the second time the Kogei Kyoto artists have presented their artworks outside Japan. Their first Art of Kogei – Spirit of Kyoto exhibition was held in Paris in 2008. He said the current Kogei exhibition is the first part of further cultural exchange between artists from the two countries.