Tara Books’ artist in residence, Koki Oguma, on workshops and new learnings
There’s no better way to introduce children to the art and culture of another country than by getting their hands dirty. In their latest initiative, Tara Book has brought down Koki Oguma, an art teacher from Japan, who is currently conducting workshops to teach how to create art with affordable materials. More from him:
I’m here to share my experiences as an art teacher and artist with teachers and children. I’m doing workshops with primary school kids in Chennai and Cuddalore, and I’m introducing simple techniques like dropping paint, blowing paint, using vegetable stamps and finger painting.
The techniques I’m introducing are not only Japanese; some are part of European nursery school traditions. I’ve adopted techniques from various cultures and arranged them in my way. Since Indian and Japanese culture are different, I’ve come to experience a lot of new things here.
I’ve learned new ways of making colour with natural food materials from here—like yellow from turmeric, red from beetroot. Each time I speak with teachers, I learn and explore new ways of painting.
I am working on two picture book projects with Tara. The first is My Fantastic Funny Fabulous Neighbours—comprising illustrations and stories of funny people I’ve created. The second will use elements I glean from these workshops and will help the reader give a free run to their imagination with shapes, lines and colours.
Indian and Japanese illustration techniques are not that different—hand painting to digital, and even the miniatures. In the future, I’d like to explore more with traditional Japanese materials. And when I return to Japan next February, I want to continue deepening the cultural exchange between India and Japan through picture books, art and children’s activities.
At Book Building, in December (date to be finalised). Details: 42601033