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A Japanese touch to art, music and food Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 April 2009 18:57
Impressive show: (From left) Shioya, Hiroko and Nakano playing the erhu during a performance at INTI Penang.

NINE Japanese, including several who are participants of Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, displayed their cultural skills at an international college in Penang recently.

They were invited by INTI International College Penang to take part in the Art, Music and Culture: A Japanese Touch event at the college.

The event kicked off with a soothing erhu (Chinese violin) recital by Mariko Shioya, 67, Hiroko Iwasaki, 60, and Chieko Nakano, 56, who performed a 10-song repertoire of mostly Japanese songs.

Alternating between solo and group performances, the trio entertained the audience with traditional numbers like Soshu Yakyoku (Nocturne of Shu Zhow) and popular numbers like Miagete Goran Yoruno Hoshi Wo (Look Up the Star) by Kyu Sakamoto (who also sang the hit song Sukiyaki) and Edelweiss, a tune from the musical The Sound of Music.

The three performers were also surprised by an impromptu erhu presentation by SMJK Chung Ling Butterworth student Jaclyn Tay Yi Ling, 16.

The petite Form Four student, who was on a field trip to the cultural event with 38 fellow students, indulged her schoolmates with a short piece played from memory.

Although the skill of her practised fingers clearly outdid the former performers, Tay was modest about her talent.

“Their performance with the Chinese erhu is good. It’s impressive that they took time to learn a skill from other cultures,” said Tay, who plays the erhu in her school’s Chinese orchestra.

After the musical recital, INTI Penang and Chung Ling students visited an exhibition at the college’s entrance hall.

Labour of love: A painting of the Queen Victoria Clock Tower in George Town by Yohgai grabbing the attention of these students from Chung Ling.

Beautiful batik paintings depicting local Penang scenes of the Queen Victoria Clock Tower and Weld Quay along with vividly-coloured canvases of local flowers were among the many on show which were put up by Hiroko’s husband, Yohgai.

Sharing the knowledge: Yohgai (right), demonstrating batik painting at the exhibition.

The 66-year-old, who has been staying in Penang for about five years, also conducted batik printing demonstration. He also allowed students to try their hand at the traditional art form.

Another person demonstrating his skills was Kouji Nakano, 69, who gracefully crafted vases and bowls at a potter’s wheel. Visitors looked in awe at his Chinese brush paintings of landscapes and village scenes.

Aside from the artwork, embroidery and patchwork on display, all made by the Japanese residents, the wonderful smell of fried octopus drew passers-by to the takoyaki (round Japanese dumpling) stall where Miki Iio was preparing the steaming snacks.

“These snacks are very popular in Japan and almost every housewife will know how to make them,” said Iio, 39.

“Personally, I prefer Japanese food to Penang food, but I do love the steamboat here,” she added with a smile.

INTI Penang principal Dr Michael Yap, who opened the event, said it was the first time the college had organised the Japanese cultural exhibition.

“Being an international college, we want to provide a holistic education and give our students exposure to different cultures.

“This is also a way to let locals know a bit more about foreign residents who are contributing to the local culture,” Dr Yap said.

 

Source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2009/4/4/north/3610647&sec=North



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