Ukrainian diplomat from Odessa exhibited her artwork at the National Art Center in Tokyo

Violetta Udovik, a diplomat from Odessa, who currently is the cultural attaché of the Embassy of Ukraine to Japan, participated in the Japanese Sumi-e painting exhibition in Tokyo, which took place in June 2021 at the National Art Centre, located in the heart of the Japanese capital.

For the Odessa artist it was the debut, since she started taking Sumi-e classes only a couple of years ago.

The event was organised by the International Sumi-e Association with official support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Asahi Newspaper, and other organizations.

Over 250 artists from all over the world exhibited their artworks, including representatives of Ukraine, Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, the Netherlands, England, the UAE, the USA as well as African countries. 

Violetta’s work is titled “Autumn Fuji” and it resembles Japan’s most important symbol – its sacred Mountain Fuji. She says that to paint this work she used several Sumi-e techniques: the leaves are painted using the same color mixing technique as Ukraine’s Petrykivka painting, to paint a mountain in the clouds three different brush strokes are applied. The Ukrainian artist also stresses the importance of balance between the foreground and background as well as between the depicted motif and empty space which is so important in the Japanese culture and art.

Sumi-e, also called “Suibokuga”, is a traditional Japanese painting that originated in China and has spread all over East Asia. It was brought to Japan in the 5-6 century and is used to express the Japanese sense of beauty. Sumi-e employs brush and black ink on paper, often mixed with water. It has not been widely introduced in Ukraine, so we hope that we will be able to see Violetta’s works in the future in Odessa or other Ukrainian cities. And next year which marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Ukraine-Japan diplomatic relations is an ideal opportunity for it.