Japanese artist debuts in Davao for Yolanda victims

Dec. 17, 2013

Davao Today

DAVAO CITY — A Japanese artist made her international debut in Davao in which proceeds from her exhibit were donated for Typhoon Yolanda victims.

The artist Oruha, whose real name is Yuko Murakami, debuted her work at SM Premier Lanang from December 9 to 13, displaying her unique art called Mandala.

Her exhibit theme, “A Light in the Dark”, was penned before Typhoon Yolanda struck the country. For Oruha, the tragedy added more meaning to the theme as she wanted her art to inspire hope to the Filipino people.

Throughout the exhibit, she staged two or three-hour sessions of Charity Sessions for Yolanda survivors. Oruha invited gallery watchers to sit with her as she draw each of them a personalized Mandala on a pocket-sized black cardboard.

Mandala art was developed from Buddhism, in which the circular pattern connotes finding one’s center or essence in the universe. Mandala is a Sanskrit term called “circle” which is described as a vessel of essence.

There are different forms of Mandala art, including sand paintings by Buddhist monks. Oruha practices a unique form using black paper or cardboard.

Oruha would ask for the person’s wish or study the person’s personality before starting out her drawing.

Her drawing process is a marvel. Oruha starts with marking an inner and outer circle, then patiently fills it up from the center to the outer circle with dots, curves and other lines using colored pens. The end result after seven to ten minutes is an eye-catching personalized Mandala which she also takes time to explain to the audience.

Oruha, 29, was born in Akashi, Japan and studied at Kobe University of Foreign Studies. She had worked as a consultant of a firm when she visited a hotel in 2011 and saw her first Mandala painting.

She said that encounter made her began practicing Mandala art. Even without any background in art, she has made 1,000 Mandala artworks and exhibited them in shows in Japan.

Oruha said she chose the Philippines as her first international exhibit and this was made possible through a Japanese friend in the city.

Oruha also set up a wall with the theme “Mandala of Hope”, where the audience freely drew Mandala with messages dedicated to Yolanda survivors.

The event was co-organized by Nakashin, CCC, Sandglass Media and Carpenter Frames and supported by the Japanese Consulate in Davao City. (Tyrone A. Velez, davaotoday.com)

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