Vietnam ’s development and the major changes taking place in the country have been an endless inspiration for Japanese painter Toba Mika who is well-known for her Katazome, or stencil dyed paintings.

Most of her work is of landscapes in Vietnam and over the past 16 years, she has created almost 100 paintings depicting the country, which she has a special attachment to.

“When I think of Vietnam, I become inspired, so when I see changes in the country I want to bring it to life in my work,” the Professor at the Kyoto Seika University of the Arts told the daily newspaper Thanh Nien (Young People).

There are no people in Mika’s paintings, but Mika said “I see the scenery’s soul and personality like human beings. Some of the landscapes have existed for hundreds of years and witnessed the lives and fates of many people. Every scene has its own soul.”

Through Mika’s paintings, people can see images of Vietnam development, from once having ancient streets with old, moss covered houses and high-rise buildings to streets adorned with advertising.

Toba Mika has visited almost every region in Vietnam and she paints to record the scenery as well as preserve Japan ’s traditional art of Katazome, which has existed since the 12 th century.

Mika has recently been in Vietnam to attend the exhibition “ Nara and Hanoi – connecting eternal capital cities” which is showcasing her paintings of Hanoi .

Held at the Temple of Literature and the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum from December 6-25, the exhibition aims to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and the 1,300 years of the ancient capital of Nara of Japan./.