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Media Release

For Immediate Release | February 17, 2023



Discover the world of bento boxes with The Japan Foundation, Sydney’s upcoming exhibition, OH!Bento. Featuring the works of three Japanese artists, this exhibition celebrates a universally loved aspect of Japan’s rich food culture. OH!Bento seeks to unveil the entire bento experience, from the careful preparation of this portable packed lunchbox to its completion and eventual consumption. Through this process, bento has the power to strengthen human relationships, like a gift that contains a story connecting the preparer and the eater.

Featuring a selection of photographs, illustrations and video works, this exhibition encourages viewers to think outside the box when it comes to bento, and consider how feelings of affection make this seemingly everyday item something to be cherished.

Included in the exhibition are works by photographer Satoru Abe, artist Toru Koyamada and designer Hiraku Ogura, along with a variety of bento boxes provided by Katachiware on display. The exhibition also includes an interactive workspace where visitors will have the chance to design their very own bento box and display them within the gallery.

OH!Bento will be held at The Japan Foundation Gallery from March 17 to July 29, 2023.

An event program accompanying the exhibition will be announced at a later date.


Satoru Abe
Toru Koyamada
Hiraku Ogura


A bento is a portable meal that comes packed in a box. From traditional magewappa (bent wooden containers) to elegant shо̄kadо̄ (lacquered lunch boxes), bento boxes come in all shapes and sizes. Since their practical origins as a means of transporting food, bento boxes have evolved to become the symbol of a traditional culture of sharing in Japan, and have the power to act as an unspoken channel for the creation of deep human connections.

Header image: Hiraku Ogura, OBENTO DAYS, 2018



March 17 – July 29, 2023

Explore a selection of works by three Japanese artists, inspired by the bento box and its significance in bringing people together.

Held at The Japan Foundation Gallery

About the exhibition



March 17 (Friday), 2023
6-8pm (opening address at 6:30pm)

Join us on March 17 for the opening reception of OH!Bento.

Held at The Japan Foundation, Sydney


March 18, 2023 (Saturday)
3-4pm AEDT (in-person and online)

In this special talk event, exhibiting artist Satoru Abe will discuss his life’s work, a collection of photographs titled Hiruke (Lunchtime), for which he travelled around Japan and captured portraits of people eating homemade bento boxes. He will also discuss the inspiration behind his photography practice, as well as the OH!Bento exhibition.

Held at The Japan Foundation, Sydney

About the talk event
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Gallery Hours

Mon–Thu: 10am–6pm
Fri: 10am–6pm
Sat: 11am–4pm

Closed on Sundays and public holidays


The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008


Exhibition entry is free.

Media Enquiries

(02) 8239 0055

General Enquiries

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