Ukrainian fighters in manga style: Japanese artist opens exhibition at Ukrinform

Ukrainian fighters in manga style: Japanese artist opens exhibition at Ukrinform

A young Japanese artist, who devoted several years to creating paintings with the images of Ukrainian soldiers, opened an exhibition in Kyiv on Saturday.

Her moving works, posted on the Internet, made it possible to invite Ms. Natsume to Ukraine, Information Policy Minister Yuriy Stets during the opening ceremony of the exhibition at Ukrinform's ART-HUB.

"The year 2017 was declared the Year of Japan in Ukraine. The Information Policy Ministry is implementing a lot of different programs together with the Japanese Embassy. So in search of something interesting, we accidentally stumbled upon this artist on the Internet and decided to invite her to Ukraine. She has never been to Ukraine and even outside Japan. The distance from Japan to Ukraine is large, and we did not know if she will come. But she arrived, despite the fact that we have a war, so as to see everything in her own eyes. I am pleased that Japan sees Ukrainians like this in these paintings, that the artist portrayed them with great love for our country," Stets said.

It turned out that this exhibition in Ukraine was also the first for Natsume. The information policy minister promised to assist in organizing one more exposition of this kind. "We will turn to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so as to make an exhibition at the Delegation of Ukraine in Japan so that Ukraine is seen through the eyes of a Japanese artist," the minister said.

He also noted that the ministry would publish a booklet with illustrations of the paintings of Natsume in order to present them to Ukrainian military. He also presented an embroidered Ukrainian shirt to the Japanese artist.

Japanese Ambassador to Ukraine Shigeki Sumy said that the art of illustrations in the manga style was well-known in his country.

"I am very glad that today we can hold an exhibition of Natsume, and I am glad that such a very young artist from Japan came to Ukraine. It's great that she portrayed Ukraine and Ukrainians and that her works impressed them positively," the ambassador said.

He expressed hope that Natsume's works would raise the mood of the soldiers who fight in the eastern part of the country and that many Ukrainians would learn about the art of Japanese illustrations through them.

"We are very pleased that Ms. Natsume arrived and that the Ministry of Information Policy opened [this exhibition]. It is important that culture becomes the cause of all," First Deputy Culture Minister Svitlana Fomenkovo said.

She also congratulated the audience, including many soldiers, on Ukraine's Defender Day.

The artist said that she began to admire military topics since 2013, she reviewed various images on the Internet and among them she found the images of the Ukrainian military. "I liked them very much, and I started to be a little interested, gather information and draw. Today I have this exhibition. I also saw embroidery on the Internet. I realized that they are different and their pattern depends on the region," Natsume said.

The exhibition was organized by the Ukrainian Information Policy Ministry. The co-organizers are the Ukrainian Culture Ministry and the Japanese Embassy in Ukraine.

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