Seeing Japan for the first time 

What: Japan, a photo collection

Who: John Hewson

Where: MY Place upper foyer gallery

When: all month

When local amateur photographer John Hewson received an invitation to attend a wedding in Japan, he never thought he would go. The expense, the distance and the time off work made it unjustifiable. But his Japanese friends would hear nothing of it and paid for him to visit their country.

Little did Hewson realize that his Far East wedding stop would become a magical bonding experience with a country he admits he originally knew very little about.

"The whole trip was an amazing gift," said Hewson. "We were treated like royalty by our friends and everything from the landscapes, the culture, the traditions, the people was just incredible."

Hewson captured many unique and exquisite images unveiling a different Japan to perhaps the one people perceive it to be. A rich and colourful culture inhabits six chains of steep, serrated mountains. Studded with more than 60 volcanoes, the landscape is bathed in mists, streams and delicate forests.

"I was showing friends and family the photos and they were as spellbound as I was. They kept urging me to show them publicly, so here they are," he said.

This is Whistler Photographic Society member Hewson’s first solo exhibit. He said since he is also a board member of The Whistler Community Arts Council, it was time to practice what he preached.

"I’ve been encouraging other people to show off their work for so long now, but never did it myself. It’s a strange experience seeing your passion on the walls for everyone to see and critique, but whether it’s positive or negative, I am enjoying the feedback."

Japan is on display for the entire month of May in the upper foyer at MY Place. The opening reception for the show is on Friday May 9 form 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

Stay on for the Pavlov show at 8 p.m. or head over to the Westin for Maxine & Blair's high school reunion at 7 p.m. Some Japanese canapés and tea will be served and the bar will be open for the early tipplers.

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