Asking a blind man to enter a photography contest might seem strange. But Yoshiharu Shiibashi, who lost his eyesight at the age of 39, did not only accomplish that. He was the winner of the 22nd National Blind Photographer Exhibition, an annual contest organised by the Japan Culture Association last year. Today, the 67-year-old retired salesman will open the exhibition 'My Journey of Beautiful Inside' at Langham Place, Mong Kok, featuring his works as well as award-winning pieces by other blind photographers in Japan. The exhibition, sponsored by Olympus, is the first of its kind in Hong Kong. Mr Shiibashi said he was surprised to be given the grand prize. 'I had never exhibited before. I certainly did not expect to win anything after losing my sight,' he said. He has learnt to gain insightful perspectives into his subjects by using his senses of smell, hearing and touch. His works are testimony to the saying that beauty comes from within. They also show his strong will in overcoming difficulties and living life to the fullest. Mr Shiibashi said his youthful passion for photography was rekindled when he retired seven years ago - encouraged by his wife, Hiroko. Serving as his 'eyes', she tells him about the scenery, people, movement and time. 'I wanted him to remain active. It was a way for us to go around and travel and see the world, and take photos at the same time,' Mrs Shiibashi said. They have visited Hawaii, Canada, Switzerland and Europe. The Japan Culture Association has also developed a way to make three-dimensional photographs so the blind can 'see' photos. Olympus hopes the exhibition will spread the message that it is possible for blind people to pursue their interest in photography. The exhibition will finish next Thursday. The organiser will then move to another venue to extend the exhibition.