Japanese-Pakistani painter, lover of nature, holds first solo show in Dubai

The picture shows one of the paintings of Nadia Yoshioka, a Japanese Pakistani painter living in Dubai. (AN Photo)
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Updated 07 February 2023

Japanese-Pakistani painter, lover of nature, holds first solo show in Dubai

  • Nadia Yoshioka is currently displaying nine paintings at solo art exhibition at Radisson Red Dubai
  • Yoshioka is represented by The Arabian Gallery, Gallery Vibes and Kawkab online gallery in Dubai

DUBAI: Nadia Yoshioka is a Japanese Pakistani painter living in Dubai. Yoshioka has shown to be always good in the arts since childhood and has won the UAE inter-school painting competition. Her artworks have been exhibited in many places around Dubai, including university hospitals, hotels and malls.

She is currently displaying 9 paintings in her solo art exhibition at Radisson Red Dubai. Yoshioka has been represented by The Arabian Gallery, Gallery Vibes and Kawkab online gallery based in Dubai. Her art is sold to private collectors across the UAE.

Yoshioka believes that being an artist is something that one is born to do and not learned at school. She has taken online courses from various teachers on different painting techniques. She is now teaching private classes as well workshops where beginners learn from her while making the class fun and entertaining.

Yoshioka works primarily in acrylic paints and currently works from home where she has created her own little studio. She also takes custom orders as per client specifications.

She shared exclusively to Arab News Japan her inspiration for art: “As I have heard from the art world, most of us are born artists but only few of them aspire to actually become an artist in their adult life. In my case, I was the one to pursue art as my career despite of graduating in business school due to my passion for colors. I’m that person who doesn’t like plain and boring things and so I have been using colors since my childhood. I had a collection of coloring books and color pencils and I would not miss a day without coloring.”

“Moving forward to my school life, drawing, shading and coloring was something natural and easier for me than other kids in my class and I used to win contests without even trying hard. However, I didn’t respect it because it was something that my family and my surrounding would not really appreciate compared to getting good grades in other common subjects. Thus, I left drawing and art in general for a very long time until I started again in my university days when I joined the art club as my extra-curricular activity as well support from my friend who now is my husband”.

The picture shows Nadia Yoshioka, a Japanese Pakistani painter living in Dubai. (AN Photo)

“During that time, I used to only paint as a hobby and post on my art page as well as displayed my paintings in the university event. I barely had any inspiration on my own because I would not take it seriously and work on it. Later on, Covid came into everyone’s lives and due to lockdown, I had extra time to do my own activities which was art. I could not even do part time job and I was pushed towards making more paintings and it started selling after a while as well as was chosen for the exhibition at a five-star hotel which boosted my confidence and motivation to even make more. My inspirations began during lockdown period from my own experience, emotions and observations of other artists work around me as well online. I visited the exhibition to see other’s artworks and searched for ideas on the Pinterest app,” she added.

About the most inspirational thing from Japanese culture that she has adapted it into her daily life, Yoshioka said: “According to my observation of Japan, I would say the country is very cultured and still hasn’t lost it traditional aspect even after being modernized which I believe, that it keeps the country unique and gives it an identity. Furthermore, I really love the Japanese culture in general but I can say that being a half Japanese myself, I have adapted some of them in my everyday life. My first one would be to be kind to everyone and be humble as well respectful to people around me. I believe that Japan is today everyone’s bucket list country to visit and everyone loves it because of the respectful people in the country. Without those kind and generous people, the country would not be standing at the top position today. Secondly, is the healthy and balanced food of Japan. I like to have fish and seafood because I have been having them since childhood it keeps us warm and full for a longer time. I like to go out to have sushi with my family during the weekends. Furthermore, I cook Japanese food too at home including miso soup, onigiri, sushi, karaage, and much more.”

The picture shows one of the paintings of Nadia Yoshioka, a Japanese Pakistani painter living in Dubai. (AN Photo)

About the beginnings of her career in art, Yoshioka said: “I was an artist since childhood as I mentioned above but I started working as a professional artist since the Covid-19 period when I had the extra time to do something of my own. My concept about art is that it has to be vibrant and full of colors which has not only a subject but a feeling and emotion to the overall painting. Furthermore, the art should be self-expression and not a perfect picture which makes it unique and interesting to look at. Lastly, my concept for working on art is the right choice of colors to match the interiors and overall theme of the room.”

About the challenges that she faced during the projects that she worked on, Yoshioka said: “One of the challenges as an emerging artist is that, I’m still figuring out what my niche is like how renowned artists does. Due to this, I try different mediums, techniques and style often and most of the times, it would turn out good but sometimes it wouldn’t and all my time, effort and materials would be wasted. But I am not afraid of failure as it makes us grow.”

The first solo exhibition for Yoshioka has started this month at Red Radisson Dubai, she shared exclusively to Arab News Japan the theme and main highlights of her exhibition: “My new year’s resolution was to participate more frequently in art events whether in exhibitions or conducting workshops and this year started with a collaboration with the Radisson RED Dubai located in Dubai Silicon Oasis. It is the first millennial-focused hotel in the Middle which has funky interiors and bold designs aimed at younger travelers. They support local artists and talents of all kinds which I really love about. For this solo exhibition, I’m exhibiting 9 paintings where each wall has a different theme. One wall has two paintings that focuses on landscape, the other wall has two paintings that are in the theme of pink colors, the other wall has two paintings which are of bold contrasting colors and rest all has one painting dedicated to one wall”.

“I’m really grateful that my work has been chosen to be displayed on their hallways for the month of January. As a resident who lives nearby the hotel, it’s really great that they are supporting local emerging artists as it gave me the chance to share my skills and creativity as well as to build up a unique professional experience in the visual art world. Big thanks to the organizers of this event and Tabasum, Social Media Creative at Radisson RED Dubai who was very supportive throughout the entire process of the exhibition,” she added.

About her life in Japan, Yoshioka said: ”I was born and lived in Japan till I was 5 years old as both of my parents were working and living in Niigata city and then later Toyama city, I spend some of my childhood in Japan. I enjoyed my kindergarten time and also had Japanese friends and then all of a sudden, I remember myself in Pakistan when I was sent there so I can learn the Pakistan culture as well because I am half Pakistani. I used to go to Japan often so I don’t miss out the time in Japan as well. Later on, I and my family shifted to UAE and went to Japan many years later and then we went there last July.”

“The feedback that I would give about Japanese people is that they are very different than other countries as more than 90% are Japanese nationals over there and everyone speaks Japanese which I think that there could be room for English language over there so it is easier for people coming from outside to communicate. Other than the people in Japan were the nicest, kindest, hygienic, so helpful and also very respectful I have not seen anywhere else. Even though I didn’t look full Japanese and had difficulty with speaking fluent Japanese, I felt so supported and did not feel uncomfortable. Instead, it was so nice to see Japanese people after a while because I did not encounter any Japanese here in UAE and sometimes, I used to wish that I could have Japanese friends too,” she added.

Regarding her upcoming projects, Yoshioka said: “I have big plans for my future which I am slowly working towards. For this year and near future I have planned to do more exhibitions here in Dubai and also widen my activities to not only in one city but other cities as well. To participate in contests and any other artist open calls that may be happening in the country. To make more paintings in a series and sell them with great offers. To work on commissions. Also, to do giveaways and collaborate with bloggers and interior designers. Lastly, to do monthly painting workshops here in Dubai on my own or to join an existing workshop company.”

About her recommendations for those who wants to be an artist: “My recommendations for someone who wants to become an artist whether as a hobby artist or professional artist, is to never give up and keep trying to do what you love because it is a skill that no one can take away from you and at the end you will enjoy a lot to see yourself grown and achieved so much that you would have not expected or even believed.”

“So, believe in yourself and take the next step, be surrounded by positive people and vibes. Also, to not compare with the big artists because even though there are the best artists out there, the world still needs colors and unique designs and every artist and their artwork is unique, so keep creating without thinking twice. Most importantly enjoy what you do,” she added.

‘Friendly countries’ expected to fulfill commitments for IMF deal — finance minister

Updated 26 March 2023

‘Friendly countries’ expected to fulfill commitments for IMF deal — finance minister

  • Pakistan would not default, government doing its best to steer Pakistan out of “difficult situation,” says Ishaq Dar
  • Dar had said Pakistan’s IMF deal being delayed over friendly countries’ assurances to fund balance of payment gap

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Sunday that “friendly countries” were expected to materialize their commitments to Pakistan which would pave the way for Islamabad to finalize its loan revival deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) said in a report.

Earlier this month, Dar told Pakistani parliamentarians that Pakistan’s deal with the IMF is being delayed as the global lender wants assurances and commitments from “friendly countries” to fund its balance of payments gap to materialize.

Though the finance minister did not name the “friendly countries” specifically, it is understood that he was referring to Saudi Arabia, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). All three are close allies of Pakistan who have bailed come to its aid whenever Islamabad faces an economic crisis.

Pakistan has been struggling to revive a stalled loan program with the IMF which would unlock a tranche of $1.1 billion, crucial for the country to stave off a balance of payment crisis. The South Asian country’s reserves have dipped to historic lows over the past couple of months, as it desperately seeks external financing to pay off its debts and sustain its economy.

“Addressing as chief guest an Iftar dinner hosted by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in honor of foreign diplomats, Dar said that friendly countries were expected to materialize their commitments with Pakistan that would pave the way to close the deal with the IMF and revive the economy,” the APP said.

The finance minister said Pakistan “would not default,” adding that the government was doing its best to steer the country out of a “difficult situation” to ensure its sustainable growth.

While Pakistan desperately waits for the IMF to revive the stalled loan program, the South Asian country grapples with decades-high inflation and a deepening political crisis. Pakistan’s restrictions on imports — in its bid to prevent the outflow of dollars — have caused banks to delay or deny the opening of Letter of Credits (LCs) for the import of goods.

Pakistan eye redemption in Sharjah in second T20 against Afghanistan today

Updated 26 March 2023

Pakistan eye redemption in Sharjah in second T20 against Afghanistan today

  • Afghanistan made history by beating Pakistan for the first time ever in an international match on Friday
  • Pakistan make one change to the playing XI, replace all-rounder Faheem Ashraf with Mohammad Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: A new-look Pakistan squad, with most of its senior players resting, will be eyeing redemption against Afghanistan today, Sunday, as the two sides lock horns in the second T20 clash of the three-match series at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Afghanistan made history on Friday after they beat Pakistan for the first time in an international match. Inspired by a match-winning knock by Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan defeating the green shirts by six wickets in a low-scoring contest in the first T20.

On a turning track that proved to be more conducive for bowlers than batters, Pakistan lost the plot earlier in the innings, managing to finish at an unimpressive 92/9 at the end of their 20 overs.

However, when Afghanistan came out to bat, Pakistani bowlers Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim and Naseem Shah exploited the pitch conditions well to put the Afghan batters at bay. It looked like Pakistan’s game at one point in time when Ihsanullah struck twice in his debut over, dismissing Ibrahim Zadran and Gulbadin Naib.

However, after a dismal 45-4, Afghanistan managed to pull through courtesy of a match-saving partnership between Nabi (38 runs from 38 balls) and Najibullah Zadran (17 runs from 23 balls).

For Sunday’s match, Pakistan announced they would take to the field with only one change in the playing XI.

“There is one change in the side as Mohammad Nawaz replaces Faheem Ashraf,” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.



Senior Pakistan cricket players such as Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Muhammad Rizwan, Haris Rauf, Fakhar Zaman and others are not taking part in the series. The PCB had earlier announced it was resting the players.

PCB chief Najam Sethi said the series would serve as a grooming opportunity for younger stars such as Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub, Zaman Khan, Azam Khan, Tayyab Tahir, and others who performed well in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL).

In Azam’s absence, all-rounder Shadab Khan is leading the Pakistani squad for the three-match series in the UAE.

Pakistan decided to “compensate” Afghanistan by playing against them after Australia pulled out of an ODI series against Afghanistan. Cricket Australia said it had taken the decision in protest over the Taliban government’s education and work restrictions against women.

PM Sharif criticizes president’s ‘partisan attitude’ amid rising political tensions

Updated 26 March 2023

PM Sharif criticizes president’s ‘partisan attitude’ amid rising political tensions

  • PM responds to president’s letter from Friday in which he raised concerns over political developments in Pakistan
  • PM Sharif accuses president of espousing “one-sided,” “anti-government” views in line with former premier Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday wrote back to President Arif Alvi, accusing him of harboring a “partisan attitude” toward the coalition government and espousing “one-sided, anti-government views” as political tensions in the South Asian country continue to rise.

Sharif’s letter was in response to Alvi, who had written to the prime minister on Friday to express concern over recent political developments in the country. In his letter, Alvi mentioned the “glaring violation” of the fundamental rights of opposition activists and media personnel to stifle dissenting voices in Pakistan.

The president, a close ally of former prime minister Imran Khan, also mentioned the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone the Punjab polls from April 30 to October 8 in a recent proclamation while describing it as a “flagrant violation of the Constitution ... by the executive authorities and government departments.”

The correspondence between the president and the prime minister takes place at a time when political tensions are high in the country. Khan alleges his party supporters and aides are being subjected to police brutality, arrests and harassment by the coalition government and Pakistan’s powerful military. The government denies this, and accuses Khan of inciting his supporters to attack law enforcers.

In his response to Alvi, Sharif expressed disappointment at “the blatantly partisan nature” of the president’s letter, adding that it reads like a press release by Khan’s political party. He questioned why the president had not taken notice of the “severe” human rights violations that took place under the previous government spearheaded by Khan.

Sharif pointed out that the constitution does not grant any powers to the president to seek an explanation from the prime minister. “The only reason I am responding to your letter as because I want to bring your partisan attitude and actions on record and to set the record of our Government straight,” he wrote.

Responding to Alvi’s concerns about the ECP’s decision to postpone provincial polls in Punjab to Oct.8, Sharif said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies were dissolved to “blackmail” the federal government and two provinces to dissolve assemblies and declare elections.

“You have not taken note of the effect of conducting elections to these two provinces prior to the general elections to the National Assembly in as much as, organizing and conducting free and fair elections under clause (3) of Article 218 may not be possible with elected provincial governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” the prime minister wrote.

“This constitutional distortion has completely escaped your attention, which is quite saddening, given the role of the head of the state that the Constitution assigns to the President,” Sharif added.

The prime minister responded to Alvi’s allegation that he had not held meaningful consultations with the president, saying that the constitution allows the president to act on the advice of the prime minister or the federal cabinet.

“In very limited instances, the President acts in his discretion under the Constitution,” Sharif wrote. “Article 46 and Rule 15(5)(6) supra are what they ordain. That is, keep the President informed. Nothing more and nothing less.”

After Lahore clashes, interior ministry bars governor, CM from taking police outside Gilgit-Baltistan

Updated 26 March 2023

After Lahore clashes, interior ministry bars governor, CM from taking police outside Gilgit-Baltistan

  • Days earlier, federal minister said GB police were deployed to ‘attack’ Punjab cops as they tried to arrest ex-PM Khan
  • Clashes erupted between Khan supporters and Punjab police in Lahore last week, leaving scores injured on both sides

KHAPLU: The Pakistani interior ministry has barred the governor and the chief minister of the northern Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region from taking police officials with them outside the region, more than a week after a federal minister said GB police were deployed outside Imran Khan’s residence in Lahore to prevent his arrest by their Punjab counterparts. 

A team of Islamabad police, backed by their Punjab counterparts, attempted to arrest Khan from his Lahore residence on March 14 following the issuance of his non-bailable arrest warrants by an Islamabad court in a graft case. 

A day later, Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the GB police force had been deployed to “attack” the Punjab police as they tried to arrest Khan in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore. The move to arrest Khan had sparked clashes between his supporters and the police, with several injured on both sides. 

The Pakistani interior ministry this week issued directives for GB Governor Mehdi Shah and Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid, who hails from Khan’s party, not to take regional police officials for their security to Islamabad or other parts of the country. 

“Security arrangements for the Governor and Chief Minister, Gilgit-Baltistan during their visit outside the region, shall be made by the respective provincial/regional governments,” the interior ministry said in a notification on Friday. 

“The Government of Gilgit-Baltistan shall not deploy a police force for security purposes outside the Gilgit-Baltistan region.” 

Last week, the federal government also replaced GB police chief Muhammad Saeed with Dar Ali Khan Khattak with immediate effect. 

GB Sports Minister Raja Nasir Ali Khan said security protocol was the right of every chief minister, adding the ruling coalition only acted in opposition to his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. 

“We will move the court against this notification,” the provincial minister told Arab News. 

But a political analyst said the interior ministry’s notification was according to the “law and customs.” 

“An incident happened [in Lahore a few days ago], and this instruction came. The instruction is according to law and customs,” Afzal Ali Shigri, a political analyst and a former IG, told Arab News on Saturday. 

“This is a normal practice and the local police are responsible to provide security for VIPs [of other regions]. This should be kept in mind that the function and responsibility [is linked] with jurisdiction. And because their jurisdiction is not outside GB, so this instruction has been issued.” 

In massive Lahore rally, ex-PM Khan lays out 10-point recovery plan to ‘save’ Pakistan

Updated 26 March 2023

In massive Lahore rally, ex-PM Khan lays out 10-point recovery plan to ‘save’ Pakistan

  • The South Asian country of 220 million has for months been embroiled in political and economic crises
  • The ex-premier taunts the country’s military establishment, says there is no ‘easy way’ out of current situation 

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan on Sunday laid out a 10-point recovery plan to steer Pakistan out of an economic crisis as he addressed a massive public gathering in the eastern city of Lahore. 

The former premier said the country’s revenue collected via taxes was far lesser than its expenses and the other major problem was higher outflow of dollars than the inflows, which increased pressure on the rupee and gave rise to inflation. 

He detailed a 10-point economic recovery plan to steer the country out of the crisis, stressing the need to increase exports and investment, and providing a conducive environment to businesspersons through mid- and long-term planning. 

“Overseas Pakistanis are the biggest asset of the country. If we fix our governance system, rule of law... then our governance system will safeguard their capital,” Khan said. 

Protected by a bulletproof barrier, former Prime Minister Imran Khan waves to supporters during a rally in Lahore, Pakistan, on March 26, 2023, to pressure the government of Shahbaz Sharif to agree to hold snap elections. (AP)

But to bring those reforms, the ex-premier said, the country’s governance system needed to be fixed and rule of law was supposed to be established. 

As long as the country won’t have an enabling environment for investment, no government could bring that money to Pakistan, he said. 

“Dollars flow in with increasing exports, but we never tried it,” he said. “We will divert the whole country toward exports. Whoever would bring dollars to the country by selling goods, they will be provided facilities.” 

Other points of Khan’s recovery plan included the promotion of information technology (IT), tourism, mineral exploration and agriculture in the South Asian country of 220 million. 

While laying out his plan, Khan also taunted the country’s all-powerful military about whether they had a plan to ‘save’ Pakistan. 

“I ask Pakistan’s establishment that this is clear you have decided... we won’t let Imran Khan win. All this drama, election delay, the attack on my house, there is only one aim that we won’t let Imran Khan come to power,” he said. 

“Fine, do not let [me] come to power, but tell [me] do you have any program to steer the country out of this destruction? Is there a roadmap? I challenge that the people sitting at the helm neither have the capability nor the will.”  

Supporters of Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan gather at a rally in Lahore early on March 26, 2023. (AFP)

The former premier said there was no “easy way” to take the country out of this difficult situation. 

“Only someone with public mandate can make difficult decisions, someone who came through the vote of people, whom the people trust in,” he said. 

“A party that would form government through public mandate, through the vote of public, that would be the first step. When a government would come for five years, then the people, business community would have the confidence that there is political stability.” 

Khan, who was ousted in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence in April last year, has been at loggerheads with the coalition government of PM Shehbaz Sharif and the country’s powerful military establishment. 

The former premier accuses the coalition and former army chief Gen (retired) Qamar Javed Bajwa of orchestrating his ouster as part of a United States-backed “foreign conspiracy.” All three deny the allegation. 

Since his removal from office, Khan has been agitating against the government and criticizing the military through his fiery speeches at rallies and pushing for early elections in the country which are otherwise slated to take place by October. 

The ex-prime minister is also facing dozens of cases, with charges against him ranging from terrorism to sedition.