An exhibition of silk-screen prints by Portuguese artist Jose de Guimaraes is showing till Nov. 22 at the Portuguese Embassy in Kojimachi.

Guimaraes' work is deeply influenced by African culture, which he encountered during his stint in the army in Angola, a former Portuguese colony.

Although he initially studied at the Lisbon Institute of Technology, he came to feel that the European style was descriptive and rational, whereas African art was symbolic and intuitive, with mysterious pictures and signs that represent the rituals and festivals of Africa.

His ultimate goal, therefore, was to develop a technique that combined the abstraction of African art with the representational nature of European art.

In many of Guimaraes' artworks, you will see parts of the human body, painted boldly in vivid colors, their impact so strong that they look alive. In a way, they exist as parts of the body, but at the same time, they represent a totally different thing -- a leg may be an entire body, a hip may be an arm, a stomach may be an alligator's mouth . . . and so on.

Born in 1939 in Guimaraes, as a young man he grew up dreaming of becoming an artist. At 22, during his student years in Lisbon, he adopted the name "Jose de Guimaraes" in commemoration of his birthplace. His field of work is broad, from sculpture to painting. He has held many exhibitions around the world, including Japan, finding inspiration from his contact with different cultures.