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Experience Japan in central Victoria
On Saturday the first of December, the Bendigo Art Gallery celebrated the opening of their new exhibition with a Japanese themed party.
Guests were encouraged to dress up, and I was relieved to see that I was not the only one in a kimono - in fact far from it.
The event was highlighted by the renowned Japanese drumming ensemble, Wadaiko Rindo. Their artistic drumming and disciplined strokes were a pleasure to witness. The exaggerated movements of the drummers created a dance-like performance.
Wadaiko Rindo drumming ensemble at Bendigo Art Gallery
The exhibition will be open until the 27th of January, 2013. Artworks include both Japanese and Australian woodcuts dating back to the 1800s. They are intended to express the influence the Japanese had on Australian art. The simple and inexpensive woodcuts encouraged artists to explore different techniques, while moving away from the traditional academic style.
'A Spring Moonlight Scene at Shinyasgiuma in Yedo.' 1840, color woodcut by Utagawa Hiroshige
However there will be more than just art on display. The exhibition will feature a number of activities, including origami, calligraphy and sake tasting.
Jump Into Japan - 13/01/2013 - 11am - 2pm. Activities include calligraphy, Haiku poetry and Japanese fan making. Perfect for the whole family, and only a gold coin donation.
The Art of the Kimono - 19/01/2013 - 11am - 12pm. The founder of Melbourne's Kimono House, Leanne O'Sullivan, will share her collection of both new and vintage kimonos. This event is free and includes a demonstration of dressing in yukata, the informal summer kimono.
The Art of the Kimono Sashiko Workshop - 19/01/2013 - 1pm - 2pm. Leanne O'Sullivan will guide participants in Sashiko, the traditional Japanese technique of hand-stitching. No experience is needed for this event, and participants have the chance to create a simple yet beautiful design to embellish a small pouch. This event costs $15 for gallery members and $18 for non-members.
Sake Tasting - 24/01/2013 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Sake Master Toshi Maeda arrived in Australia in 1996. He enjoys introducing sake a new audience, and will guiding an appreciation of the traditional Japanese drink at Bendigo Art Gallery. The event includes tastings of at least three different varieties of sake. The cost is $20 for gallery members and $25 for non-members.
As well as these events, origami classes will be held daily for the duration of the exhibition. This is a free event and is suitable for all ages.
Japanese origami. Image by Laitche on Wikimedia Commons