Japanese Art Collector Receives Vietnamese FM’s Certificate of Merit
|Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam presented a certificate of merit from the Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs to Japanese collector Itoh Toyokichi and his wife. Photo: VNA|
Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam presented a certificate of merit from the Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs to Japanese collector Itoh Toyokichi and his wife for their contribution to promoting cultural exchange between the two countries at a ceremony on Nov. 12.
According to VNA, Itoh, aged 80, began to collect works of Vietnamese painters after traveling to the country in late 1986 and was impressed by paintings displayed in museums in Hanoi. Since then, Itoh began to collect paintings by Vietnamese artists.
His collection has been gradually completed after his many visits to Vietnam. He named the collection "Houei" (Prosperity) with the hope of "opening up a new era of prosperous development".
Since 2005, Itoh has organized exhibitions of paintings in his collection at museums in Japan and abroad to introduce Vietnamese painters' works to people around the world.
In 2020, he contacted Ambassador Nam to announce an intention to present his collection of 238 painting works by Vietnamese famous painters to central Da Nang city.
It includes works of many well-known painters graduating from the Indochina College of Fine Arts (the predecessor of the Vietnam University of Fine Arts), such as Nguyen Gia Tri, Tran Van Can, Tu Duyen, To Lien, and Duong Bich Lien, among others.
He also lent 49 others works in his collection, to the city for the long term.
|"San vuon" (Backyard) by painter Pham Viet Hong Lam. Photo: Thanh Nien|
The donation is of great importance in terms of diplomacy and people-to-people exchange between Vietnam and Japan, said Deputy Director of Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ha Vy, adding that it also contributes to Vietnam’s fine art.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also presented a medal to Itoh for making many positive contributions to the promotion of Vietnamese culture to the Japanese and Korean public. At the same time, the People's Committee of Da Nang City also presented him with a certificate of merit for his outstanding contribution in activities to strengthen international friendship.
Speaking at the ceremony to present the certificate of merit, Ambassador Nam thanked the Japanese collector and his family for giving the valuable collection to Da Nang, saying that the Da Nang Fine Arts Museum will gradually introduce the paintings to the public.
In his speech, Itoh said he is deeply moved when the paintings return to the place where they belong to. He added that he still owns 100 other works of art by Vietnamese artists and is considering donating them to the Vietnamese side.
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