Japanese manga exhibition opens in Trinity

Posted on: 21 March 2017

A unique exhibition on Japanese manga has opened in Trinity’s Long Room Hub. The brand new Japan Foundation international ‘Manga Hokusai Manga’ travelling exhibition has arrived in Ireland as the third country after touring Italy and Belgium.

The exhibition introduces similarities and differences between modern Japanese manga comics which are now so popular all over the world, and the ‘Hokusai Manga’, a collection of 15 volumes of sketches by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), perhaps best known for his woodblock print, ‘The Great Wave’. The first volume was published over 200 years ago, and the ‘Hokusai Manga’ are regarded by many as the origin of today’s manga comics.

© Shiriagari Kotobuki 2015 © Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints

Directed by Professor Jaqueline Berndt, Kyoto Seika University, Japan, the exhibition consists of manga panels by Hokusai and contemporary artists displayed on folding screens, books, videos, and a group of new works by seven contemporary manga artists based on the theme of Hokusai and his manga. But the outward appearance of these two types of manga does not immediately suggest a continuous tradition. Do present-day graphic narratives and Hokusai’s “diverse drawings” share anything other than a name? Viewers are invited to compare the two kinds of manga style and explore where they actually meet.

Mrs Mari Miyoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland said, “I am delighted to welcome the exhibition to Dublin. To follow up the reciprocal visits by Mr Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, in January and Mr Charles Flanagan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in March, I am sure it will be one of the highlights of the wide programme of events commemorating this year’s 60th anniversary of Japan-Ireland diplomatic relations. I hope visitors will enjoy learning about this uniquely Japanese art form of telling stories through pictures and get to know more about Japanese culture.”

Trinity Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast said, "Trinity has a long history of working closely with Japan, and we have identified many areas for deeper educational and research collaboration with Japan’s top institutions. We are very happy to host this international exhibition on such an important part of Japanese visual culture, and we look forward to sharing this with the Trinity community."

“The Manga Hokusai Manga exhibition provides Irish audiences with a unique opportunity to explore Japanese manga through a comparison with the wonderful sketches by Hokusai, perhaps Japan’s most famous artist of all time. Visitors to the exhibition will really enjoy viewing how Hokusai’s work has influenced the contemporary development of graphic novels in Japan,” added Professor Lorna Carson, Director of the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies. This exhibition is part of the University's celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of Japan-Ireland diplomatic relations.

The ‘Manga Hokusai Manga: Approaching the Master’s Compendium from the Perspective of Contemporary Comics’  exhibition is open to the public from 09.00 to 17.30, Monday to Saturday, until Saturday 1 April, and admission is free. It is co-organised by the Embassy of Japan in Ireland and the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies, Trinity College Dublin, in association with Experience Japan.

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Sally-Anne Fisher, Head of Communications | fishers@tcd.ie | +353 1 896 3606