Kawaii: crafting the Japanese culture of cute NOW OPEN

The exhibition Private View at the James Hockey and Foyer Galleries at UCA Farnham was opened by UCA Vice Chancellor Professor Simon Ofield-Kerr on October 29. The exhibition looks terrific and reception was very well attended. We were delighted that the Director General of The Japan Foundation, seven of the artists, the Coordinator from Japan and the Senior Exhibitions Officer from Rugby Art Gallery and Museum (next venue) were also present.

The next day (October 30) we all met again for a seminar hosted by The Japan Foundation at Kensington Conference Centre in London. I had been invited to give an introduction to the exhibition followed by presentations by Kawaii artists Minako Nishiyama, Mitsuo Toyazaki and the Gendai-bijutsu Nitouhei partnership. We then had a very lively discussion with the 80 or so attendees, chaired by Professor Simon Olding, Director of the Crafts Study Centre.

On Saturday October 31, I led the first of the free curator's tours of the exhibition. There were 20 who had booked and several who joined as we went round. On both these public occasions I have been very interested in the range of ages, which has both surprised me and validated my thinking that the exhibition will appeal to a wide audience - from the young kawaii enthusiasts to the older craft aficionado and all who are interested in Japanese culture.

On November 13 we will hold a public seminar at which we will discuss the issues raised by the exhibition.