Congo Storybooks Exhibition

Organized by the Embassy of Congo

  • Sat, Jun 19 - Sun, Jun 20 2021
    Open on weekends
  • 10:00am - 7:00pm
  • Sponsor Presentation
    Fri, Jun 18, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Invite Only during the presentation
  • Free entrance

Yumiko Takabayashi has always had a genuine interest in Africa and a keen enthusiasm for the Democratic Republic of Congo in particular.  This passion was revealed in the summer of her sophomore year while in contact with a Congolese language teacher, Kalenga Ngoy.  Since then, she has been amazed by the culture, energy and passion of the Congolese people.  However, given she had never visited Congo before, the realistic image of the country was difficult to grasp.  She was thus inspired to express her curiosity and love for the country by painting images of Congolese folktales and fables to tell stories as well as promote cultural exchanges between Japan and Congo.

Using watercolor painting and art, Yumiko gives life to thousands of years of Congolese history and culture, which is passed from generation to generation.  She displays, with an extraordinary variety of genres and styles the works of ‘Leopard King’ along with an original story ‘Okapi and the Pursuit of Happiness’, a collaborative effort between Yumiko and Kilele Muzaliwa. The exhibition highlights the richness of collaboration and a symbiosis of Japanese and Congolese techniques.

Yumiko Takabayashi

She was born in Tokyo on September 18, 1998, and is a graduate from Keio University. She grew up in contact with art, attending ateliers since she was a kindergarten student. She was a member of a sports club at school until high school, and drew pictures as a hobby. In the summer of her sophomore year, she met a language teacher from Congo, and developed a fascination with African countries, especially the Congo. In the spring of her junior year, she joined the “Congo Project” led by professor Yoko Hasebe. This exhibition is produced as part of her graduation project in collaboration with Kilele Muzaliwa.

Kilele Muzaliwa

He was born in Goma (Congo) on June 15, 1990. He is currently a doctoral student in Law at the YOKOHAMA National University.