Michiko Bokka and Olga Grymierski, at the exhibition on Monday 17. Sur
Michiko Bokka, an artist connecting Japan and Malaga, opens Japanese culture week

Michiko Bokka, an artist connecting Japan and Malaga, opens Japanese culture week

The series of events, that will take place until Sunday 23, includes talks and workshops on manga, sushi, ikebana, origami and other traditional crafts

F. Griñán


Wednesday, 19 April 2023, 15:30


Michiko Bokka has one foot in Malaga and the other in Tokyo, this bipolarity being expressed in her art. With connections to both places, she was one of the main figures at the opening of the fourth annual Japanese cultural week in Malaga on Monday.

The programme started with the opening of her exhibition ‘El Camino de la Luz’ (the way of light), in which she explores the connection between Spain and Japan.

The week’s events, organised by the Japanese embassy and businesswoman Olga Grymierski, includes 11 activities such as workshops, talks, performances and exhibitions.

Monday’s schedule included the opening ceremony at Malaga city hall, which was attended by Japanese Ambassador Takahiro Nakamae, and the mayor Francisco de la Torre.

The event included traditional Japanese music, such as a shamisen, a Japanese guitar with three strings, played by José Luque, and taiko music (a Japanese drum) to which Begoña Castro gave a flamenco performance.

osé Luque’s performance in front of Francisco de la Torre and Takahiro Nakamae, the Japanese Ambassador. SUR

Michiko Bokka’s exhibition will be open until Sunday 23 April in the Sala Mingorance gallery in the Archivo Municipal building in Malaga’s Alameda Principal. It has two parts: one expressing the soul of Japan, the artist’s home country; and the other focusing on Andalucía, her other home. In the first room there are Japanese-inspired works showing “the beauty of shading and deep colours”.

This art reflects Michiko Bokka’s Japanese spirituality. In the room, there are several ceramic works made by the artist, such as the piece made with traditional washi paper, displaying a contemporary painting created using Japanese paintbrushes, made only from natural resources.

The second room displays El Elogio de Andalucía (the praise of Andalucia), which “contains messages of strength, happiness, passion, energy and progress that have emerged from the lockdown”.

They are works that vividly express the Andalusian character in black and white, using only Japanese materials. In this room there is also a kimono and two decorative pieces made from a Japanese black persimmon.

These pieces are incredibly rare; only one in every 10,000 persimmon trees produces black fruit. Normally, once the fruit is opened it has a milky or pale yellow colour, but occasionally it has a black inky colour in the interior which is called kurokaki.

Furthermore, located in el patio of the Archivo building you can find a large piece done in black ink on modern Japanese paper with a type of floral art called ikebana, which Michiko Bokka specialises in.

Throughout her long and successful career, she has had exhibitions in the Louvre, New York, Dubai and Miami, not forgetting Malaga and the province where she has repeatedly displayed her work.

On Tuesday 18, the programme continued with a talk by Mari Orikasa on Japanese ceramics and Amalfy Fuenmayor led a tea ceremony.

On Wednesday 19, the Municipal Heritage Museum (MUPAM) is hosting a demonstration on shibori (a type of fabric dying), led by Marie Isabelle Poirier, while those younger have the opportunity to ‘learn Japanese through manga and anime’.

On Thursday 20 Chihiro Tomita will discuss Myths and Legends of Sushi while on Friday 21 the Economic Society of Friends of the Country are holding a bookbinding workshop and with a Ikebana demonstration, led by Eiko Kishi.

Saturday 22 will be the last day of activities, with morning workshops in the Aplama room. Here, Carmen Mai will teach the Sumi-e painting technique. She also has an exhibition on discipline and an origami session. All activities mentioned are free.




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