I was flipping channels last night and noticed an episode of public television that covered Japanese Brazilian artists. I started watching and was enthralled. The art was fabulous and the melding of the two cultures brought forth unique and exciting imagery.
If you have a chance to see this episode you’ll know what I mean when I say I have been permanently affected by the work shown. Here is a post from worldchannel.org that gives you a little background. And to my Brazilian followers speak up and tell the rest of us more about this and how the art community in Brazil feels about this work.
The story of Japanese Brazilians is little-known outside Brazil, and yet they constitute the second-largest Japanese population in the world. West Encounters East examines the lifestyles and traditions of artists from this community and celebrates the fruitful engagement of Japanese identity with Brazilian nationality.
Traveling to Brazil and Japan, Executive Producer Stella Holmes and Producer Linda Corley explore the historical, social and aesthetic elements found in the works of Japanese Brazilian artists, whose unique perspective has so far received little recognition in the West. Over the course of a year, they interview artists, including Tomie Ohtake, an icon of the Japanese Brazilian artistic community, and sculptor Yutaka Toyota as well as Japanese Brazilians who have migrated back to Japan.
Told primarily through the artists’ canvases, sculptures, ceramics and photography, the film brings to light the dynamic and little-known saga of the Japanese presence in Brazil. Their mass immigration, adaptation to Brazil and assimilation into the artistic community are key to this story.