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Friday, April 17, 2009

Celebrating the work of artist Dick Bruna

Staff writer

Illustrations by Dick Bruna, creator of picture books featuring the rabbit Miffy, and other animals, are now on show at the Museum of Modern Art in Saitama. As a firm family favorite, this exhibition is sure to be popular with parents during Golden Week.

News photo
Icon: Dick Bruna's Miffy is one of the characters who will be on display at an exhibition in Saitama until May. ILLUSTRATION DICK BRUNA © COPYRIGHT MERCIS BV, 1997 WWW.MIFFY.COM

The exhibition, titled "Let's go to the museum! Learning how to enjoy modern art from Dick Bruna," is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tokyo as one of events commemorating the 400th anniversary of trade relations between that country and Japan and the 150th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.

Bruna, a Dutch picture-book author and graphic designer, is most famous for the heavy lines and simple shapes of Miffy, whose character appeals through being active and positive. Other animals, such as bears and a dog, also appear in Bruna's books.

The 81-year-old artist from Utrecht has published about 120 picture books since 1953, and his works — translated into more than 40 languages — have now sold more than 85 million copies worldwide.

The exhibition consists of three sections. The first introduces around 40 works of modern art, part of the museum's collection, featuring illustrations from Bruna's 1997 picture book "Miffy at the Gallery." The book illustrates Miffy's enjoyment on her first visit to a gallery.

The second section comprises some 340 works by Bruna, including sketches.

In the third section, visitors can create their own illustrations and paper crafts using Bruna's method of drawing.

The Bruna exhibition is at the Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, until May 17; admission ¥800 (free for junior high school students and younger); open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (closed Mon.). www.momas.jp/3.htm

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