A Japanese artist, refugee children and IDPs have created a mural to support peace in Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, 11 July 2017 (UNHCR). The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) together with the Embassy of Japan in Ukraine have opened the mural of the Japanese artist Kensuke Miyazaki  at the Art-zavod Platforma.

 Photo: UNHCR/T.Bulakh

Mr. Miyazaki Kensuke came to Ukraine in the frame of his global project "Over the Wall". Together with his team, he creates murals in different countries to give hope for peace to people, who have suffered from wars, natural disasters, poverty or hunger.

More than 100 refugee and IDP children and children with disabilities work jointly for four days to create this street art project in Kyiv.

Photo: UNHCR/Alizee De Lacoudraye

"I am very impressed with this beautiful mural, which clearly reflects the realities of the present. Here is a sakura, which is a symbol of Japan, and children playing under the flags of our countries. It is also important that displaced children have contributed to creation of this mural. While living in peaceful Kyiv, we have to remember that war in Ukraine is still  ongoing in the East and people are suffering. But I am sure that peace and life will win", said Shigeki Sumi, Ambassador of Japan to Ukraine.

Mr. Kensuke's visit to Ukraine is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Japan and Ukraine and the first anniversary of the "Cities of Solidarity" initiative launched last year in Mariupol.

Photo: UNHCR/T.Kravchuk

As the artist explains, the theme of solidarity has become a key in creating of this art object. "In fact, I am just an artist, but volunteers and members of my team are doing much more. When I am painting, I try to  engage  people from other countries, with different life circumstances, in painting with me. There is a special meaning for this  process as we are uniting to create art together. After all, the main goal of the project is to combine the art of people of different nationalities in difficult life situations", explained Miyazaki Kensuke.

During the opening of the "Solidarity" mural there was a symbolic sakura planting and performance presentation  of Japanese martial arts.

Photo: UNHCR/T.Kravchuk

Commenting on the event, the Minister of Culture of Ukraine Yevgeniy Nyschuk noted the diversity of cultural and creative initiatives taking place during the Year of Japan in Ukraine, in particular graphic projects. "Thousands of people visit Art-zavod Platforma and while passing by this mural, they will stop tp look at this picture, whichcame to life not only with a beauty, but also with the content", emphasized Ievgen Nyshchuk.

During his mission, Mr. Miyazaki Kensuke will create wall paintings in Mariupol and Kharkiv together with refugee and displaced children from eastern Ukraine. 

Photo: UNHCR/T.Kravchuk

"We also invited the team to create a mural in Mariupol on the wall of the school damaged by shelling. We hope that this project will help to restore hope for a peaceful future for children who have been affected by the conflict in the East", explained Pablo Mateu, Representative of the UN Refugee Agency in Ukraine.

Over the Wall Project - By creating murals around the world, Miyazaki Kensuke aims to unite the world through art, in particular by encouraging cultural exchanges through workshops involving children from Japan and children of local communities.

More pictures from the Opening one can find HERE


For additional information please contact Nina Sorokopud, Public Information Officer, UNHCR Ukraine: +380 50 310 1767, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.