Islamabad (Adnan Hameed): In a celebration of traditional Japanese cultural heritage, the Japan Foundation presents the “Yakishime: Earth Metamorphosis” pottery exhibition at the National Art Gallery of the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA). Running until February 29, this collaboration between the Japan Foundation, the Embassy of Japan in Islamabad, and the PNCA aims to acquaint visitors with Japan’s unique and centuries-old cultural legacy.

Mr. Jamal Shah, Caretaker Federal Minister for National Heritage & Culture, and H.E. Mr. WADA Mitsuhiro, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, joined distinguished guests on Thursday, February 15, to inaugurate the exhibition. This event provides an opportunity for visitors to witness the evolution of yakishime from ancient roots to contemporary expressions.

This captivating showcase delves into the traditional Japanese ceramics technique of yakishime, firing unglazed wares at extremely high temperatures. Spanning from the 4th and 5th centuries to the present day, the exhibition features over 80 exquisite pieces, including yakishime wares, tea vessels, food vessels, jars, containers, and non-utilitarian objects created by contemporary ceramic artists.

The event signifies the cultural linkages between Japan and Pakistan, echoing back to historical connections like the Gandhara civilization. The goal is to communicate this distinctively Japanese sensibility and aesthetic to audiences abroad.

During the inaugural ceremony, Ambassador WADA expressed deep admiration for the time-honored tradition of Japanese ceramic art and crafts. He highlighted the unique fusion of tradition and innovation in Japanese culture, emphasizing the ability to add new interpretations while respecting old methods and tastes.

Ambassador WADA drew parallels between Pakistan’s traditional potteries, particularly Multan’s Blue Pottery, and Yakishime, noting a shared sense of warmth and simplicity. Recognizing the rich and diverse cultural heritage of both nations, he expressed anticipation for the new phase of Pakistan’s traditional arts in the next generation.

The Ambassador commended the Pakistan National Council of the Arts for their collaboration in arranging this exhibition at the National Art Gallery.

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