Diplomatic briefs: From rags to riches

29-08-2016 11:53 AM

Mary Fikry Antoun Milad



The Japanese Embassy in Cairo’s Japan Foundation has held a seminar jointly with the Egyptian NGO Baad al-Bahr for Cultural Development on the role of art in preserving the environment, from a Japanese viewpoint. A large Egyptian Japanese audience attended, as well as many of other nationalities in Cairo.   

Japanese artist Hideaki Shibata (Yodogawa Technique) was guest of honour of the seminar which was part of Baad al-Bahr’s “From Rag to Riches” project. After personal exchanges and discussion between Yodogawa Technique and the artists participating in the project, Mr Shibata found ways to collaborate with them.



In the Talk Event held, he discussed the role of art in protecting the environment and his Art Unit, Yodogawa Technique’s works and efforts thus far. He explained how he started his art project by using the garbage and drift carried by the Yodo-gawa river to make fantastic works of art after he had suffered from tight means and shortage of resources. He said he found in the garbage a trove of all the material he needed to create his art works. His method is now taught at primary and preparatory schools in Japan.

Mr Shibata was born in 1976. After graduating from Osaka Bunka Fashion College, he began the art unit “Yodogawa Technique” with Kazuya Matsunaga in 2003 based on the Yodo-gawa riverbank in Osaka. They make their art works with garbage and drift.  He has also been working on various activities as an individual artist such as exhibitions and workshops. He is also a lecturer at Kyoto University of Art and Design, a mountaineer and mushroom fancier.


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