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March 31, 2009

“Mexico Through Oriental Eyes” Exhibit At CCNY Center For Worker Education Connects Japan With Latino Culture

NEW YORK, March 31, 2009 – Japanese artist Hiro Kagami brings his Mexican-themed artwork to The City College of New York (CCNY) Center for Worker Education (CWE) with his installation of “Mexico Through Oriental Eyes,” which will run through April 27.

Curated by Areceli Tinajero, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Literature at CCNY and The CUNY Graduate Center, the 12-piece exhibit captures the beauty and magic of Mexican traditions.  It is on display at CWE, located on the seventh floor of 25 Broadway in Lower Manhattan,

“Rather than illustrating a particular aspect of Mexican life, (Kagami’s) works offer an emotional comprehension, a sublime spontaneity that emphasizes the grace and natural movement of everyday existence,” says Professor Tinajero.  “Moreover, Kagami’s work represents the elegant nature of Mexican women in different contexts.”

The paintings, which focus on soil, plants and people, show the harmonious blend of Eastern and Western cultures, as well as the deep understanding and respect for both Japanese and Mexican traditions.  “I have always admired Mexican life and culture,” states 57-year-old Kagami, who currently resides in Nagoya, Japan and travels every year to Oaxaca, Mexico, for inspiration.

Kagami’s work reflects his profound connection with Mexico’s people and its natural environment. “I was surprised that Mexicans, like the Japanese, are very spiritual and have legendary traditions, which value Mother Nature and encourage respect for elderly people,” he says.  Kagami attended the opening reception for the exhibit, held Friday, March 27.

About Hiro Kagami
Hiro Kagami became interested in Latin American culture while in high school after hearing the Peruvian song “El Cóndor Pasa” remade by Simon and Garfunkel.  He attended the University of Fine Arts of Aichi, Japan, and majored in Japanese Traditional Painting, where he learned about the works of the Mexican Muralists.  His admiration for Mexican art and culture inspired him to travel to Mexico City where he studied Mural Painting from 1977 to 1979 at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Pintura y Escultura Esmeralda and at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas de San Carlos.  Kagami has had several solo exhibits and has participated in group shows in Mexico, Japan, and the United States.  He has been the recipient of Japan’s “Third Chunichi-Ten” and “Artistic Creation of Nagoya” Prizes.

About The City College of New York
For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.  For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.

CWE Contact Information

Elena Romero, Communications Coordinator, CWE, (212) 925-6625 x 258, eromero@ccny.cuny.edu.

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