Japanese painting collector honoured with Vietnamese FM’s certificate of merit

VOV.VN - Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam presented a certificate of merit on November 12 from the Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs to Japanese collector Toyokichi Itoh and his wife for their contribution to promoting cultural exchange between both sides.

Itoh was born in 1941 in Tokyo and first came to Vietnam in 1986. Upon arrival, he was impressed by paintings displayed in museums throughout Hanoi and has since collected paintings by various Vietnamese artists.

Most notably, his collection has been gradually completed after many visits to the country. He named the collection "Houei", “prosperity” in English, in the hope of "opening up a new era of prosperous development".

Since 2005, Itoh has organised a range of exhibitions showcasing paintings in his collection at museums in both Japan and abroad in an effort to introduce pieces by Vietnamese painters to people from around the world.

Last year he contacted Ambassador Nam to announce an intention to present his collection of 238 painting works by famous Vietnamese painters to the central city of Da Nang.

Upon addressing the ceremony held to present the certificate of merit, Ambassador Nam thanked the Japanese collector and his family for giving the valuable collection to Da Nang, stating that the Da Nang Fine Arts Museum will gradually introduce the paintings to the public.

In his speech, Itoh said he is deeply moved at the prospect of the paintings returning to the place where they belong. He added that he still owns 100 other works of art by Vietnamese artists, and is considering donating them in the future.