Paris to host Japonismes 2018 cultural expo to mark 160 years of diplomatic ties

by

Staff Writer

Paris will host the Japonismes 2018 cultural exposition to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and Japan next year.

To be held in more than 20 venues and running for about eight months, it will be one of the largest events to promote Japanese culture overseas, a promoter of Japonismes 2018 said Thursday.

Japonismes 2018 is an important diplomatic event for leaders of both Japan and France, and they are deeply involved, the head of an organization promoting the event said at the Foreign Ministry.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Francois Hollande agreed on the holding of Japonismes 2018 during a 2016 summit in France.

The concept of holding a Japan exposition overseas was proposed during the “Beauty of Japan” Comprehensive Project Advisory Panel meeting held in 2015.

“In order for Japan to increase its presence in the international community, I believe there is a need to actively develop ‘cultural diplomacy’ that communicates the appeal of Japan’s culture and arts,” Abe said during the meeting.

Japonism 2018 is expected to run from next July to February 2019.

Exhibitions are expected to cover both traditional and contemporary art, as well as anime and video games. Scheduled stage performances include traditional theater such as kabuki, noh and kyogen, as well as pop, including a show featuring virtual idol Hatsune Miku.

Major shows at Japonism 2018 include a kabuki performance by Nakamura Shido and Nakamura Shichinosuke II. It was explained that it will be the first kabuki show to be held in Paris in 11 years.

The exhibition by teamLab, a popular Tokyo-based art collective known for its digital art installations, is anticipated to draw scores of visitors. The exhibition opens in May, ahead of the official July launch of Japonismes 2018.