An art exchange program, with Devonport’s sister city Minamata, opened today at the paranaple arts centre to coincide with Japan’s national Children’s Day celebrations.
Devonport Mayor Annette Rockliff said the Koinobori Project celebrated Japan’s national holiday on 5 May where families fly Koinobori, which are carp streamers, to celebrate children’s happiness.
Cr Rockliff encouraged members of the public to check out the colourful artwork from Japanese students, which will be on display until 28 May.
“It’s wonderful to see the Japanese art on display in the paranaple art centre foyer again and it’s an honour to showcase the young talents of our sister city Minamata,” Cr Rockliff said.
“The carp is believed to be a very spirited fish, powerful and energetic enough to swim up rapidly flowing streams. It symbolises courage, power and determination as they swim upstream and through waterfalls.
“Koinobori symbolise the wish for children to become brave and strong individuals.”
Cr Rockliff said the art exchange project between Devonport City and the City of Minamata, Japan began in 2018 with multiple community workshops occurring until mid-2020.
She said a scheduled exhibition in May 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic.
“Since Devonport signed a Sister Cities agreement with Minamata, Japan in 1996, we have seen school children in both cities connected via art exchange projects and even a few high school visits,” Cr Rockliff said.
“Many Devonport children have benefited from the project. During 2018 and 2019, I was able to see firsthand the joy of local school children, putting their artistic efforts into something to be gifted and put on display in our Sister City.
“The project has inspired many Devonport students to continue to study Japanese, and over the years some have even visited Minamata to better develop their connection with the culture.
“The most recent being, Devonport High students making the journey to visit Japan in 2018. Unfortunately, a follow up 2020 visit was cancelled due to the pandemic. However, this art exchange program is something that can connect both our cities in a fun and creative way.”
The Koinobori Project will be on display in the paranaple arts centre foyer until Saturday, 28 May 2022. For more information check out: https://www.devonport.tas.gov.au/visit-devonport/arts-culture-heritage/the-koinobori-project/