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Art exhibit in N.Y. features peace in ‘kawaii’ world

Jiji Press
Sebastian Masuda is seen at his charity art exhibition in New York on Friday.

NEW YORK (Jiji Press) — A charity art exhibition encouraging people to think about peace by Sebastian Masuda, an artist who is working to spread Japan’s “kawaii” culture to the world, opened in New York on Friday.

The exhibition, filled with vibrant colors, features works pointing to the preciousness of an ordinary everyday life, including beds where visitors can lie down to think about peace.

Masuda, 51, moved from Japan to New York in January. When he temporarily returned to Japan in February, he developed enteritis. He said that he realized the importance of having a place where he could rest with ease, as he no longer had his own home in Japan at the time.

Thinking about people in Ukraine who had lost a place to call home due to Russia’s invasion, Masuda decided to hold his first art exhibition since moving to the United States to promote peace.

Part of the profits he makes from selling his artwork will go to organizations that support Ukraine. The exhibition ends on Sunday.

Masuda said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in February, was the biggest event that had occurred during the six months he has spent in the United States so far. “It’s an artist’s mission to send a message through art,” he said.