Celebrating the tenth anniversary of Asahi Shimbun sponsorship, this Asahi Shimbun Display will feature newly commissioned and recent works by a trio of celebrated Japanese manga artists: Chiba Tetsuya, Hoshino Yukinobu and Nakamura Hikaru. The display will explore the diverse appeal of manga and show how it has evolved over recent generations through the work of three living artists. It will also give a rare opportunity to see the original artwork that forms the basis for mass-printed manga.
Manga is a graphic art form that developed in the early 1900s based on traditional Japanese artistic and literary genres. Integrating text and image into compelling narratives, manga has grown to be a vital part of global popular culture. The British Museum will showcase a developing strand of its Japanese collection through these three never-before exhibited artworks.
The prominent manga artist, Chiba Tetsuya has been creating best-selling manga for over 50 years, a number of which have been made into animated series for TV and film. He is best known for his sports manga, which address struggle, failure and eventual redemption through single-minded dedication to a single sport. The display will feature Chiba Tetsuya’s ‘Fair Isle Lighthouse Keepers Golf Course, Scotland.’ A young golfer is depicted weighing his options on this remote course with the Fair Isle lighthouse in the background. Having played the Old Course at Saint Andrews twice in the past, the artist hopes to next play this course and has created this work specifically for the display.
Hoshino Yukinobu returns to the British Museum’s Asahi Shimbun Display for a second time, following Manga: Professor Munakata’s British Museum adventure (November 2009- January 2010) and his subsequent manga book with the same title published by British Museum Press. Hoshino Yukinobu works from his mountainside studio in Sapporo, and specialises in the science fiction genre. Trained in traditional Japanese painting, he typically draws all of his work by hand, and when colour is needed scans the drawings and adds colour by computer. Here Hoshino Yukinobu has drawn, entirely in shades of ink, a seemingly three-dimensional portrait of his newly created character Rainman, especially for this display.
Nakamura Hikaru represents the most recent generation of artists and one of the leading manga artists in Japan. She specialises in comic manga of everyday life. The British Museum will feature a cover artwork from her series ‘Saint Oniisan’, which tells the story of Jesus and The Buddha sharing a small flat in modern day Tachikawa, a suburb of Tokyo. The artwork presented in this display depicts Buddha drawing a manga with Jesus helping him, a work created by Nakamura Hikaru first by hand, then scanned and finally coloured using a computer. Her works have been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean and Chinese, but not yet into English.