The Embassy of Japan in Botswana is currently hosting a Japanese Art Exhibition at Thapong Visual Arts Centre titled Traditions and Techniques. The exhibition is ongoing and it will take place until the 27th of July. The exhibition is a 50 years milestone of Botswana-Japan relationship. The exhibition was launched by the Ambassador of Japan in Botswana Masahiro Onishi who said that the exhibition represents traditional Japanese culture and hand crafts which have developed within the context of daily life along with works by Japanese crafts artists who continue to use traditional techniques to produce highly creative pieces. “The relationship between Botswana and Japan was not only nurtured through political and economic areas, but also in cultural areas such as art, music and sport,” he said.
The Coordinator of Thapong Visual Arts Centre Reginald Bakwena acknowledged the exhibition as the first of its kind hosted by the Japanese embassy. He encouraged the local artists to visit the exhibition so that they could be able to learn the high level of techniques that the Japanese used and also the materials that they used in creating the handcrafts. “This will teach our local craft makers’ new techniques of doing things and also help them transform their ideas into sellable products,” he said. The Chief Curator of the handcrafted Artworks Kazuko Todate said that being surrounded by the utilitarian craft objects that have been brought into being have encouraged them to make the best out of the raw materials of each craft be it ceramic, textiles, metal work, lacquer ware, wood, bamboo work, paper and others. “Artisans and artists have influenced each other, this mutual influence has contributed to the depth and high quality of Japanese crafts as a whole and this exhibition introduces hand crafted objects made from traditional materials with traditional techniques from all over Japan," he said.
The exhibitions at Thapong are Kasama Ware, Mino Ware, Bizen Ware, Tokyo Hand Drawn Yuzen(cloth dyed silk), Odate Bentwood, Edo Joinery, Hakone Marquetry, Edo Cut Glass, Nara Writing Brushes, Marugame fans and all this have been used by the Japanese from the 18th century. The exhibition is open for public viewing from 10am to 3pm every day until the 27th of July.