Two Exhibitions To See in Old Havana

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

Seiichi Hayashi

HAVANA TIMES — On Friday, August 8, while heading down to the Fototeca de Cuba to attend the opening of a photo exhibition, I ran into an acquaintance who told me of another exhibition that was opening on Old Havana at the same time, that of a Japanese illustrator named Seiichi Hayashi.

The exhibition was being held at the Ruben Martinez Villena Gallery-Library. Since my bus has a stop very close to this institution, I decided to pay the exhibition a visit first.

Comic book covers, animations, candy wrappers, paper bags and digital art are a small part of the work of this artist, the author of Red Elegy, “one of the classics of Japanese manga”, according to critic Motoi Masaki.

Titled Bellas Japonesas (“Beautiful Japanese Women”) and born of a TV commercial produced by Hayashi for Japan’s confectionar’s Hagi no Tsuki – the exhibition was dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant in Cuba and, of course, to Japanese women.

Meanwhile the Fototeca de Cuba photo gallery exhibited sixteen photos by four different photographers, namely Nadal Antelmo, Nestor Arenas, Jose Luis Diaz Montero and Daylene Rodriguez Moreno.

Working with very different styles, the artists came together in a joint exhibition titled Cuatro veces cuatro (“Four times Four”), exploring different discursive paths without thereby incurring any curatorial conflicts.

In most of the photographs, objects acquire a symbolic significance and to occupy a space where ironic, playful and reflexive gestures link metaphors to human experience.

If you decide to take a walk down Old Havana’s Plaza Vieja or Plaza de Armas this hot month of August, do not hesitate to visit these exhibitions and see what they have to offer you.

Yanelys Nuñez

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva: Writing is to expose oneself, undress before the inquisitive eyes of all. I like to write, not because I have developed a real fondness for nudity, but because I love composing words, thinking of stories, phrases that touch, images that provoke different feelings. Here I have a place to talk about art, life, me. In the end, feeling good about what you do is what matters; either with or without clothing.