The Armenian Embassy in Japan invited Glendale artist Srboohie Abajian to exhibit her art earlier this month during “Armenia Culture Week” in Tokyo.
At the exhibit, Abajian showed video footage of her “Murals on the Sky” project, which she displayed locally last year at Deukmejian Wilderness Park in La Crescenta.
The work consists of five 9-foot-by-4-foot outdoor sculptures, depicting eyes, hands and faces that show human emotion expressed by people demanding their rights.
In Tokyo, she also exhibited an art-on-canvas piece from the series, “All Roads Lead to People,” which was on display at the Brand Library & Art Center in 2014.
The series explores the human need for companionship. With a focus on the immigrant population in Los Angeles, the work highlights eyes, faces and hands searching for a connection with others.
In her artist statement, Abajian said she prefers line drawing for its “simplicity and immediacy,” and that she enriches the line with emotion to heighten the impact of her images.
The cultural event in Tokyo from May 9 to 14 aimed to introduce Armenian culture to the Japanese. For the Glendale artist, it was the first time exhibiting her work in Japan.
She was able to do so with help from her daughter Mayreni Abajian, who is currently an exchange student in Tokyo.
When Mayreni Abajian went to visit the embassy to work with officials on sharing Armenian culture with Japanese children as part of a volunteer project, she told officials that her mother is an artist.
That’s when ambassador Grant Pogosyan and attaché Yervand Markosyan, who organized the cultural event, reached out to Srboohie Abajian.
“Every exhibition is important to me because this is giving me a chance to reach out to the public with my experience or story,” Srboohie Abajian said.
The artist said she represented the Armenian diaspora as she shared her experience, through her art, in what it also means to be an immigrant.
She said she deeply values listening to and learning from others.
“It doesn’t matter which country we live in. As human beings, we are looking to connect to each other and understand each other and invest in honest relationships. I think that’s the most important thing for us,” she said.
Others featured in the exhibition in Tokyo were New York-based artist Dana Walrath and the late French-Armenian painter Jean Jansem.