Artists Visit Boise State from Japan 

Tuesday, March 6

On Tuesday, March 6, two artists and educators from Japan's Nagoya Zokei University will host an evening at Boise State to discuss their work. Toyotsugu Itoh and Ryosuke Kobayashi will be the third group of visiting artists since Boise State graphic design professor John Francis began the partnership with NZU in 2004.

Their visit is facilitated in part by Francis at Boise State. Almost a decade ago, Francis began a study program to take Boise students to Japan. Now he's part of an exchange program that swaps Boise faculty and artists for their Japanese contemporaries.

At NZU, Kobayashi works with photography and other media. His work includes large-scale photographs, some 5-feet by 9-feet in size.

"He sets up a camera on a tripod, and he takes maybe more than 100 pictures and puts them together to become super realistic," said Francis.

Itoh's work is on posters done in the traditional Japanese style. The subject matter is political in nature, featuring traditional icons of Japanese history and arts with a more modern message. Francis said the program is about showing students what's outside the university.

"It's an excellent opportunity for students to get a perspective of a culture that's different than their own--the commonalities as well as the differences between the two cultures," said Francis.

The opening reception for work by Itoh and Kobayashi will take place Thursday, March 8, from 6-8 p.m. at the new Arts and Humanities Institute Gallery on Parkcenter Boulevard, and the show will be up Monday, March 5-Friday, March 30.

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