Hideto Noritomi (41), a Deaf resident of Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture, has been exhibiting his Deaf art works in the gallery for the first time in the city from November 16 to December 4. Free admission.
Hidehito says that he wants to send the message through the works; "I want you to be proud of being Deaf and the sign language".
The exhibit included 63 oil paintings drawn from 2008 to this year. They are painted blue and navy blue in the black background. It is also composed to clearly show the concept of oppression against the Deaf; the sign language is banned and the oral training with the use of the hearing aid for the deaf education is stressed.
While attending the school of for the deaf in Tokyo, Hidehito was taught how to lip read and speak with the use of a hearing aid so hard that he didn't dare to tell the teacher he could not bear it. Even if he secretly learned sign language from upper class students, the teacher scolded him, "If you sign and don't speak, your voice will be like the one of animal".
Wife Kazuko (37) went to the United States in 1993, learned ASL at the school for the deaf and taught Japanese culture. Hidehito began thinking about how he would tell the Deaf children, who might have a bitter experience like himself, about Deaf pride, starting the painting school. He went to France to learn the oil painting in 1996, and started producing as a painter in 1999. He came to concentrate on "Deaf Art" in 2004.