An Iraqi painter will hold an exhibition in Tokyo in September to help Japanese gain a different view of the Middle East, the organizers of the art show said Saturday.

Hani Mazhar, 46, will display 22 paintings that depict human body parts, such as pupils and palms, with subtle shades of blue and purple. Such body parts are traditional motifs in Middle Eastern art.

Hani endeavors to depict the mysterious world of Persian poet Al Hallaj, who lived between the 3rd and 4th centuries, the organizers said. The themes of the exhibition are “liberation from everyday life” and “liberty.”

The exhibition is scheduled to run from Sunday through Sept. 7 at Spica Museum in Minato Ward.

Hani said he hopes the exhibition will create an opportunity for exchanges between the two countries by showing Japanese people some positive aspects of the Middle East, which is often the focus of gloomy news reports.

Culture has the power to connect people’s hearts regardless of their politics, the artist said.

Hani, also known as a political caricaturist, is currently living in London. He graduated from an art university in Baghdad and moved to Kuwait, where he was able to work freely.

He moved to Britain in 1991, one day before Iraq invaded Kuwait.

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