Japanese art exhibition to open at the Scottish Parliament


A unique exhibition showcasing the work of 12 Japanese art graduates studying in Scotland will open at the Scottish Parliament on Friday.

Entitled ‘Reversible’, the exhibition will be displayed at various locations around the building.

Free special tours will give members of the public the chance to view the artwork in the context of the architecture of the Holyrood building.

All 12 artists exhibiting are graduate students from either Glasgow School of Art or Edinburgh College of Art. The exhibition, which runs until 6 May, features:

  • ‘Scottish Parliament Haiku’ project, a compilation of Haiku (Japanese verse) and images created by pupils from Beath High School , Cowdenbeath.
  • A rustic jewellery collection, based on the landscape and nature of Scotland (Aki Nakayama).
  • Photographs inspired by the Scottish thistle (Chinami Takahashi).
  • Futuristic art based on an imaginative world 50 million years in the future (Ayaka Okutsu).
  • Art on the windows, creating shapes with magnets and recreating a cherry blossom tree using paper (Satoshi Watanabe and Kumi Yamashita).

The exhibition has been developed by the Japanese Consulate together with the two art schools and the Scottish Parliament. This will be the first time that the works have been displayed.

Presiding Officer George Reid said: "There are very important connections between Scotland and Japan - from the world of technological innovation to the obvious Japanese influence in the architectural work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

"This exhibition celebrates a new dimension in visual culture – bringing young Japanese artists trained here in Scotland to create work specifically for display at the Holyrood building.”

Exhibition curator, Professor Alan Johnson of Edinburgh College of Art, said: "The architecture of the Scottish Parliament provides a very special context for this work which has been created in response to the site. The building itself provokes new contemporary responses as the artists have spent time exploring and researching the architectural forms.” 


Media are invited to attend the launch of the exhibition on Thursday 19 April at 7pm – please contact Logan Sisley at Edinburgh College of Art for tickets on 0131 221 6271.

Details of the Japanese artists exhibiting at the Scottish Parliament are available from Stella Sinclair at Edinburgh College of Art on 0131 221 6089 or email [email protected].

Access to the full exhibition is available through the specialised tours only. The tours of the artwork and the building will take place at 12.30pm and 2.30pm on Tuesday 24 April and Tuesday 1 May.

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