Islamic Republic of PAKISTAN
With the support of the Pakistan Japan Cultural Association (Sindh), which is engaged in conveying Japanese culture in Pakistan, and as one of the projects commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan-Pakistan diplomatic relations, we will create a mural at the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi.
Through three types of project activities
we will create art together with the children of Pakistan, giving them opportunities to foster hope and live cheerfully.
The National Institute of Child Health is a large children’s hospital with 553 beds, managed by the Sindh province authorities, where children can receive medical treatment free of charge.
It is said that in Pakistan, there is a low school enrollment rate of children who in Japan would be of an age to receive compulsory education.
Many of these children not receiving a school education are working as laborers, and poverty is also preventing them from attending school.
In view of this current situation in Pakistan, we would like to create this mural together with the local children as a way to give them great hope for the future.
Pakistan is an Islamic republic located where China, South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East intersect and is approximately twice the land size of Japan (796,000 square kms).
While over 95% of its 200 million-plus population is Muslim, there is co-existence with Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, and indigenous religions.
It is also a very diverse nation with Punjabis making up the largest ethnic group, accounting for 45% of the total population, followed by Sindhis, Pashtuns, Saraikis, and Baloch.
The literacy rate among Pakistanis aged over 15 was approximately 59% in 2017, according to UNESCO sources, well below the global average literacy rate of 86% that same year.
Looking at a breakdown, the men’s literacy rate is about 71% and the women’s literacy rate is 46%, clearly showing a gender gap.
This time, the mural will be created in a children’s hospital and the hospital proposed that the theme be “Safety, Protection, and Hope”.
In Pakistan, children not receiving an education become workers and many of them are in poor health. Moreover, the devastating floods that hit the country in September 2022 claimed the lives of 528 children. I felt that the children, who have their future ahead of them, need a society that can keep them safe and protected, as well as to be able to see the bright hope that awaits them.
So for as the symbol for the theme, I chose the green sea turtle. Karachi began as a fishing town and then developed into a trading center for the region of the Arabian Sea.
Even now, green sea turtles are still present and many citizens’ groups are working hard to protect them.
Sea turtles are a symbol of longevity and are thought to bring good luck and peace. However, spawning is a life-threatening process for them and many difficulties have to be overcome before the eggs can hatch and the baby turtles grow. In the same way, early childhood is important for humans, with a lot of support needed.
For this mural, I have depicted a large green sea turtle and, underneath, eggs representing the children of the future, surrounded by colorful flowers and supported by people.
It creates an image that these children of the future will grow up, fulfill their dreams, and bring happiness to us all.
On the back of the turtle is a cricketer, admired by the children of Pakistan. My hope is that this will be a picture that supports children’s dreams.
Using art supplies provided by our sponsor Sakura Color Products Corporation, we will hold a number of workshops.
One will be for the children hospitalized at the National Institute of Child Health, another will be at the Japan Information and Culture Center, Consulate-General of Japan in Karachi, to which children from orphanages in Karachi will be invited, and also one at the Science School, Gujranwala in northern Pakistan.
The aim is to convey the idea that the creative action of art can be a catalyst for opening new ways to the future.
Each year, along with creating a permanent mural for the project country, Over the Wall also makes a flag to be given to the children of the next country where the project will be held.
At the previous location, Haiti, the local children made a flag to pass on to the children of Pakistan.
In Pakistan, we will work together with children in Gujranwala to create a flag that will travel on to Benin, the location of the next project.
The flag created in Haiti to be passed on to the children of Pakistan
The Pakistan Japan Cultural Association (Sindh), a registered organization established in 2002, is engaged in various activities. This has included inviting ceramic art experts from Japan and, under co-sponsorship with the Sindh local authorities, holding workshops, exhibitions, and sales of traditional handicrafts in order to preserve those crafts and ensure the skills are passed on to the next generation.
They also held a Solidarity Walk on March 20, 2011 that many Karachi citizens participated and was one of the earliest in the world held to support the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
In November 2008, with the support of the Japan Foundation, the association held the International Symposium on Photojournalism, making it the world’s first regional gathering for photojournalists, not only from Pakistan, but also from SAARC countries and from the three major newspapers in Japan (The Asahi Shimbun, The Yomiuri Shimbun, and The Mainichi).
There are currently around 200 members in the association.
Project Period ： November 6 – December 4 2022
Painting a healing forest in cooperation with Doctors Without Borders.
A mural symbolising hope was painted at a women’s rehabilitation center where women and their children live together.
A mural representing peace was created on the wall of a school damaged by war.
A mural was painted at a national hospital as a symbol of the country’s relatively recent independence.
A mural depicting world famous people was created at an elementary school in the Kibera Slum, home to one million people.
© Over the Wall