The Mayor greeted 10 visitors from Japan to Lower Hutt on Monday 1 May for the opening of the Minoh Art Exhibition at the Hutt Art Centre entitled Different Body, Same Mind.
The Japanese city shares a Sister City relationship with Lower Hutt.
“Fellowship and friendship are important ingredients in a recipe for world peace and co-operation between nations. I believe our future, and the world’s future, lies in coming together,” says Mayor Wallace.
Guests at the opening included Lower Hutt artists who took examples of their art to Minoh City Japan in 2016 as well as the Japanese Ambassador to New Zealand, His Excellency Toshihisa Takata.
Mayor Wallace says art in all its forms plays a key role in promoting inclusion, transcending language and culture and speaking directly to the soul.
“In my mind, art and artists are critical to our future, bringing people together in a world that seems intent on driving them apart.”
Mayor Wallace says the Sister City relationship had acted as a catalyst for the exchange of art and artists between the two cities.
“But it’s more than that. The relationship provides a meeting place for two countries, two cultures and two cities to celebrate diversity and embrace co-operation in a spirit of fellowship and friendship. I understand there will be more art collaboration between our two cities in future.
“That’s got to be good for all of us.”