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Kyoto river art exhibit underway like normal year in bid to cheer up locals

An art piece on display in the Kyoto Takase River open air exhibition is seen in the city's Nakagyo Ward, on Aug. 29, 2020. (Mainichi/Kanae Soejima)

KYOTO -- An art exhibit featuring sculptures placed in the waters of a local canal in this western Japan city has kicked off, with 32 artists displaying their work, including a movable piece and a gigantic deer head formed by combining letters.

    The 14th annual Kyoto Takase River open air exhibition is underway until Sept. 13. The art pieces are lined up in the river between Sanjo-dori and Shijo-dori streets in central Kyoto. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, many art exhibitions are being canceled, but the organizer decided to go ahead with the event, since the outdoor exhibition was deemed not to create the "three Cs" of confined spaces, crowded places, and close contact -- a combination believed to spread the virus.

    Kasuke Kishi, 68-year-old representative of the organizer Kyoto Art Council, commented, "We want to cheer up local residents using art. The coronavirus crisis has got people depressed, but I hope they can feel positive even a little bit (by watching the artwork)."

    (Japanese original by Kanae Soejima, Kyoto Bureau)

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