Paintings featuring the unique feathery expression of famous Japanese artist Iwasaki Chihiro are being displayed at an exhibition in Hanoi.

Hosted by the the Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, the exhibition "Iwasaki Chihiro and Vietnam " showcases 40 of her most-prized artworks, 32 of which are being seen in Vietnam for the first time.

Iwasaki Chihiro (1918-74) is one of the most beloved Japanese artists/illustrators in the world, celebrated for her unique ethereal aura combining Eastern Indian-ink painting and a Western water colour painting. The warm-hearted artist had great affection for children, who were to become the major inspiration for her paintings. Alongside paintings about children, the show also consists of artworks depicting flowers – another of her favourite inspirations.

According to deputy director of the Chihiro Art Museum Azumino, Yuko Takesako, who flew from Japan to attend the exhibition's opening on September 28 in Hanoi, the artist grew many kinds of flowers in her garden and the variety of flowers bloomed all year round to serve as an ideal source of imagination.

The exhibition, which is open to the public until October 27 at 27 Quang Trung Street, also displays some paintings from her pictures books.

Throughout her career, Chihiro created about 40 picture books – some based on Japanese fairy tales and those written by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, as well as some picturing the daily lives of children and babies. She also created a picture book based on the Vietnamese novel "Nguoi me cam sung" (A mother and her rifle) by Nguyen Thi.

In the Children in the Flames of War - one of her most important works - Chihiro not only drew the illustrations but also wrote the text, drawing inspiration from the American War in Vietnam. She wrote the book while she was battling illness.

Having survived World War 2, Chihiro was anxious about children's wellbeing throughout her life, leaving behind the words: "May Vietnamese children, Japanese children and children all over the world live in peace and happiness".

"Over 40 years have passed since Chihiro passed away. Are we living in peace and happiness now? We hope this exhibition will provide you a good opportunity to look back over our lives, through the world of Iwasaki Chihiro who loved +plentiful, peaceful, beautiful and cute+ things all through her time on earth," said at the opening director of the Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam Inami Kazumi.-VNA