June 5 @ 10:00 am - July 28 @ 5:00 pm
This summer Japan House London will present a two-month exhibition on the popular Japanese art form, manga, through the work of internationally acclaimed manga artist, URASAWA Naoki.
Hugely popular in Japan where they make up over 20% of all publications sold, manga refer to what are commonly known as comics in the UK. Not just for children, manga feature unique characters, complex storylines and cover a broad range of genres. The ‘This is Manga – the Art of URASAWA NAOKI’ exhibition at Japan House will provide an immersive encounter with this popular art form through focusing on the work of much-loved artist URASAWA Naoki.
Since his professional debut in 1983, Urasawa has engaged readers with dynamic storytelling and sophisticated characters that explore the hopes, dreams, and underlying fears of humanity. With hit titles spanning the genres of sports, comedy, mystery, and science fiction, his drawing style is famous for innovative compositional techniques and bold black and white panels.
This retrospective exhibition will introduce Urasawa’s ideas from inception through development, with more than 400 original drawings and storyboards on display. Selected stories from seven of his major works will be presented, highlighting the breadth of the artist’s narrative styles. A reading corner will be set up in the exhibition space with full English translations of his bestselling stories including ‘YAWARA!’, ‘MONSTER’, ‘20th Century Boys’, ‘MASTER KEATON ReMASTER’ (Story by Takashi Nagasaki), ‘PLUTO’ (Story by Osamu Tezuka, co-authored by Takashi Nagasaki, Supervised by Macoto Tezka, with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions), ‘BILLY BAT’ (Story Co-creator : Takashi Nagasaki), and ‘MUJIRUSHI’ (‘The Sign of Dreams’, with the cooperation of Fujio Productions).
Through changing displays four consecutive stories from YAWARA! will be presented over the course of the exhibition, one story every two weeks, encouraging visitors to return again and again to experience the work in the weekly serial style of many Japanese comic anthologies. This rare opportunity to enjoy Urasawa’s manga directly from his original hand drawn storyboards offers a unique glimpse into the artist’s process and psyche.
The exhibition will introduce those new to manga to the iconic Japanese art form, exploring the fusion of story and artwork that originally evolved from picture book styles developed in the late 19th century, and the modern influences behind Urasawa’s work. Japan House will give a comprehensive look into the art of Urasawa Naoki, providing an invaluable opportunity to gain insight into the worldview and unmatched brilliance of an artist beloved across the globe.