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Aichi Toho University in Nagoya is hosting the World Children’s Painting Exhibition in the L building in Heiwagaoka in Meito Ward until March 11.

Focusing on child development, the exhibition uses paintings from 40 countries to showcase the different phases and emotional stages a child goes when growing up, showing how their similarities defy borders.

The free show was planned and organized by 15 freshmen enrolled in the faculty of child development who approached the Biiku Bunka Kyokai (Foundation of Art Education in Japan), which organized the first Sekai Jidoga Ten (International Children’s Art Exhibition) sponsored by stationery maker Pentel at the 1970 Japan World Exposition in Osaka.

With their cooperation, the students were able to borrow about 100 works from past winners and selected entries.

The field was narrowed down to 85 pieces for the show, all submitted by children from 3 to 13 years old. To focus on their growth stages, the paintings were grouped by age rather than country of origin.

The subjects vary from portraits and animals to scenery, but as a whole the artworks showcase how children evolve.

In one painting, an 8-year-old Chinese boy had depicted a soccer game from an aerial perspective. This is typical of the “schematic stage,” the second of five in children’s development. This is often seen in children aged 4 to 8.

In another painting titled “A mother’s love” by an 8-year-old Indian boy, the upper half of the mother’s body was drawn much larger than the child’s.

This is another unique characteristic of the schematic stage, in which children often enlarge the things that interest or attract them.

The freshmen compiled a report on how children’s development is related to their art and put it into the guidebooks for the exhibition.

The pamphlets also group the paintings by color to highlight different emotional stages. For example, red shows the child is “energetic,” pink indicates “happiness and gentle emotions,” and blue is used to show the child was “quiet and focused.”

“I think a lot of people will be able to enjoy the exhibition, especially mothers,” said one of the students, Kazuki Iwamoto, 19.

“Visitors should also pay attention to the different colors used by children from each country,” suggested 19-year-old Hisao Yamagami.

The show is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and till 1 p.m. on Saturdays. The hall will be closed on Sundays, public holidays and Feb. 21 and 23.

The university plans to organize other events in the L building in the future.

This section, appearing Saturdays, features topics and issues from the Chubu region covered by the Chunichi Shimbun. The original article was published on Jan. 23.

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