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Exhibition Review: Manga at the British Museum – 23 May to 26 August 2019


The British Museum presents the largest exhibition of manga ever held outside of Japan. Manga is the generic name for Japanese comic books or graphic novels which are often serialised in magazines and are now read by a global audience. Manga has developed into multi-billion-pound industry that embraces anime, television, film and gaming. Despite its modern visual style, manga’s original style is associated with the great 19th-century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai whose drawings of people, animals and nature were published as ‘Hokusai Manga’.

The exhibition begins by exploring the the influences upon manga, whilst some artists have looked way back into Japan’s past for inspiration, it is considered that cartoonists Kitazawa Rakuten and Okamoto Ippei are the first modern manga artists. Their work inspired manga legend Tezuka Osamu who created Astro Boy.

Over the 20th and 21st century, manga has evolved with a wide range of styles and subject matter. This particularly Japanese form of immersive story telling with unique characters and embracing universal issues has now grown to be a worldwide cultural phenomenon.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the remarkable Shintomiza Kabuki Theatre Curtain loaned by the Waseda University Theatre Museum, Tokyo. At 17 metres long and 4 metres high, this giant curtain was originally made to be displayed between acts at the Shintomiza kabuki theatre and is displayed along one wall of the Sainsbury Exhibition Gallery. Created in 1880 by the painter Kawanabe Kyōsai, the curtain features painted demons and ghosts which create worlds of reality and fantasy. Due to its fragile nature, this will probably the last time the curtain will travel outside Japan.

Throughout the visually stunning displays are works from a number of internationally famous manga artists; including Tezuka Osamu (Astro Boy and Princess Knight), Akatsuka Fujio (Eel Dog), Toriyama Akira (Dragon Ball), Inoue Takehiko (Vagabond and REAL), Oda Eiichirō (ONE PIECE), Hagio Moto (Poe Clan), Takemiya Keiko (The Poem of Wind and Trees), Kōno Fumiyo (Gigatown) and Higashimura Akiko (Princess Jellyfish).

Visitors can enter a rendering  of the oldest surviving manga bookshop in Tokyo, explore artists drawing and understand some of the processes of producing the incredible range of manga. Although manga is considered for the young, the exhibition provides evidence that there really is something for all ages.

One of the great success stories in the genre is ONE PIECE written by Oda Eiichirō which broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the most copies sold for the same title by a single author. The story chronicles the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his band of pirates as they travel the seas in search of the world’s greatest treasure, the legendary ‘One Piece’.

Another great success story is Studio Ghibli whose films like Spirited Away has recieved global acclaim, at the end of the exhibition on some large screens you can see the master at work and clips from the films.

This fascinating exhibition tells the remarkable story of how a Japanese visual medium conquered the world. Part of Manga’s appeal is that it can use a variety of sources and produce something original with universal themes. Whilst respecting the past, manga often deals with issues of the present and predicts some future advances.

Tagame Gengoro

However within these global adventures, traditional themes like being true to yourself and friendship are considered very important. Manga with all its outlandish characters is often more concerned with different types of human identity. Playing with your identity is all part of the genre which allows readers to immerse themselves in characters with various large Cosplay events.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review – Reimagining Captain Cook: Pacific Perspectives at the British Museum from 29 November 2018 to 4 August 2019

The British Museum presents a new exhibition entitled Reimagining Captain Cook: Pacific Perspectives, this new free exhibition re-examines Captain Cook’s relationship with the people of the Pacific and includes eight contemporary artworks made by Pacific Island artists which have been acquired by the British Museum for this exhibition and are displayed for the first time.

The exhibition has seven sections with a  focus on a place where Cook is remembered: Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, New Caledonia, Hawaii, Vanuatu and Tahiti, as well as Great Britain. Cook’s experience of each place was different and these sections  explore his encounter and his legacy.

The contemporary works by artists from the Pacific Islands are all in some ways a direct response to Cook’s voyages and question ideas of conquest and civilization.

The exhibition contains 88 objects and images, including 14 contemporary works. Eight of these have been specifically acquired by the Museum for this display and are exhibited here for the first time. Highlights of the contemporary works include Māori artist Steve Gibbs’ Name Changer,  Captn Cook in Australia by Simon Gende, Aboriginal photographer and artist Michael Cook’s work Civilised #12  and Cookie in the Cook Islands by Michel Tuffery.

The contemporary artworks on show  provide a response to the traditional dialogue around Cook and offer new perspectives. New Zealand Māori artist Lisa Reihana ‘s  work Taking Possession, Lono was recently acquired by the Museum. The work is a still image taken from Reihana’s celebrated panoramic video work In Pursuit of Venus [infected]. Reihana inserts Europeans into the landscape in order to reimagine early encounters between Islanders and Europeans.

This fascinating small, free exhibition illustrates that the British Museum and a number of other museums are beginning to question some of their possessions. Many  islands of the Pacific were transformed by their encounters with Captain Cook. Two hundred and fifty years after he first set sail for the Pacific, this exhibition suggests that it is now time for Islanders voice to be heard in the debate about his legacy.

For more information, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Exhibition Review – The World Exists to Be Put On A Postcard: artists’ postcards from 1960 to now at the British Museum from 7 February to 4 August 2019


The British Museum presents the first survey of postcard art to be held in a major museum in the UK. The free exhibition entitled The World Exists to Be Put On A Postcard: artists’ postcards from 1960 to now features over 300 postcard works of art from some of the most famous artists of the past five decades including Gilbert & George, Susan Hiller, Guerrilla Girls, Tacita Dean, Yoko Ono, Bruce Nauman, Dieter Roth, Gavin Turk and Rachel Whitehead. Many of these pieces will be on display for the first time.

The works in the exhibition are drawn from a major donation of over 1,000 artists’ postcards collected by writer and curator Jeremy Cooper. It was Cooper’s intention, this overlooked medium should be preserved for posterity. The collection which took 6 years to assemble is considered one the world’s leading collections of this art form.

Vast numbers of artists have created postcard art since the 1960s, but it has been a largely ignored element of contemporary art. Some of the earliest artists who used postcard art were from the Fluxus network of artists and musicians. A number of key avant-garde artists in the 60s took part in Fluxus, including Joseph Beuys, Dick Higgins, Alice Hutchins, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Ben Vautier, Robert Watts, Benjamin Patterson and Emmett Williams.

Endre Tot is featured in the exhibition participated in the Fluxus movement and became well known for his Mail art project which used media like telegrams and picture postcards.

The rise of identity politics in the late 20th century saw a number of postcards to send messages, feminists used the medium of postcards to challenge the accepted portrayal of women in the media.

Anti War sentiment led to a large number of political postcards including Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s War is Over! and Jasper John’s anti-Vietnam war work Art for the Moratorium.

Although the postcard was perfect for short messages as the graphic postcards section illustrates, it was also used for bigger ideas, the exhibition features work that deals with more conceptual issues.

One section of the exhibition looks at postcard invitations. They are very rare as they were often discarded once the exhibition or event had ended. Examples include the original silver and black invitation from Andy Warhols’s 1966 show Holy Cow! Silver Clouds!! Holy Cow! at the Contemporary Art Centre, Cincinnati, and the original invitation card for the Freeze exhibition.

Gillian Wearing and Gilbert & George are some of the artists of today who use postcards to get their particular message across.

This interesting exhibition provides plenty of evidence that well before the internet, artists were using common forms of media like postcards to send  subversive, political and  social messages. The exhibition illustrates that the decline of  the once ubiquitous postcard for digital forms of communication means that this kind of printed ephemera will quickly disappear. This small free exhibition allows visitors the opportunity to see some of the more interesting examples of a largely forgotten medium of contemporary art.

Visiting London Guide Rating –  Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Exhibition Review – Rembrandt: thinking on paper at the British Museum from 7 February to 4 August 2019


The British Museum presents a new free exhibition entitled Rembrandt: thinking on paper which displays a remarkable selection of drawings and prints by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) that reveal considerable insights into the Dutch artist’s artistic processes.

The exhibition which marks the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death features over 60 works which illustrate Rembrandt’s artistic skill from quick sketches to fully realised compositions. The British Museum holds one of the most important collections of Rembrandt’s prints and drawings in the world, and this exhibition offers a chance to see works rarely exhibited.

This exhibition explores Rembrandt’s creative process with drawings and prints in displays mainly related to Rembrandt’s self-portraits, women, landscapes and biblical scenes.

Rembrandt was keen observer of life and often his drawings encapsulate the spontaneous moments of everyday life of his household like  Young woman sleeping (Hendrickje Stoffels?) (c.1654), Rembrandt’s early portrait of his wife Saskia ill in bed and Reclining female nude (1658).

Rembrandt is known for his wide range of self-portraits in print, and the various drawings depict himself in various guises and moods. On display is one of Rembrandt’s earliest prints, the unusually large Self-portrait, bareheaded, bust in frontal view (1629) of which only two impressions are known.

This is presented alongside Rembrandt’s later, well-known work Self-portrait drawing at a window (1648) where Rembrandt depicts himself at work drawing his own likeness on a copper plate. Rembrandt was one of the first artists to consider self portraits as a marketable product and he often experimented with his own self image.

A final section of the exhibition examines Rembrandt’s religious works, Rembrandt was particularly fascinated by the subject of St Jerome and the display features a selection of prints reflecting his changing interpretations of the saint.

Rembrandt was often at his most creative working on works of religious significance, his dramatic interpretations are shown in a remarkable degree with Raising of Lazarus (c.1632), Three Crosses (1653) and Ecce Homo (1655).

Rembrandt is among the most popular of the Old Master artists and this fascinating small exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view his creative genius on paper. The exhibition illustrates that the artist was equally at home with the everyday and the sacred, all his works display his ability to display humanity in all its guises with a technical skill that has been the envy of artists down to the present day.

Visiting London Guide Rating –  Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Manga Exhibition at the British Museum – 23 May to 26 August 2019

Kohada Koheiji © The Trustees of the British Museum

In May 2019 the British Museum will present the largest exhibition of manga ever held outside of Japan. Manga are Japanese comic books or graphic novels with a twist, serialised in magazines and read by a global audience. A multi-billion-pound business that embraces anime and gaming, manga are a global phenomenon and have forged a new international visual language. The original translation of the characters for manga was ‘pictures run riot’, associated with the great 19th-century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai whose miscellaneous drawings of people, animals and nature were published as ‘Hokusai Manga’. Since then, however, the medium has evolved to become a form of immersive story telling with unique characters and embracing universal issues. The Citi exhibition Manga will bring to life the art of manga, looking at how it emerged in Japan and grew to be a worldwide cultural phenomenon. It will explore manga’s enduring appeal and cultural crossover, showcasing original Japanese manga and its enormous influence, from anime to gaming to ‘cosplay’ performance art.

With its world-renowned Japanese collections and expertise, and working in partnership with manga artists, editors, publishing houses and specialists in Japan, the British Museum is uniquely placed to take visitors on a journey through the phenomenon of manga. From earlier forms such as the comic or dramatic designs by famous Japanese artists such as Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889) and others through to the 21st century, today there is indeed a manga for everyone. Featuring unprecedented loans from across Japan, the exhibition will reveal the inner-workings of this billion-dollar industry. The exhibition design and interpretation will transport visitors into the immersive world of manga. Visitors will be able to enter a rendering of the oldest surviving manga bookshop in Tokyo, go inside the artists’ world, meet the manga editors and be ‘manga-fied’ in a special photo booth. Audio and video installations will help bring the world of manga and its characters to life. The exhibition will also explore Manga fandom through big conventions such as Comiket and World Cosplay summit, immersing the visitor in the experience of one of these events, as well as providing an opportunity for visitors to try on a costume and share via their own photos.

Golden Kamuy © Satora Noda/ Shueisha

The exhibition will look to include high profile loans from leading internationally famous manga artists; including Tezuka Osamu (Astro Boy and Princess Knight), Akatsuka Fujio (Eel Dog), Toriyama Akira (Dragon Ball), Inoue Takehiko (Vagabond and REAL), Oda Eiichirō (ONE PIECE), Hagio Moto (Poe Clan), Takemiya Keiko (The Poem of Wind and Trees), Kōno Fumiyo (Gigatown) and Higashimura Akiko (Princess Jellyfish). Going beyond manga, the exhibition will also features the global phenomenon Pokémon as one example of a gaming-based entertainment property.

There are many manga, with a vast variety of styles and subject matter so there is something for all ages, reflecting different voices, identities and forms of expression. Breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for the most copies sold for the same title by a single author, the manga ONE PIECE written by Oda Eiichirō is a global phenomenon. The story chronicles the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his band of young pirates as they travel the seas in search of the world’s greatest treasure, the legendary ‘One Piece’, so he can become the pirate king. Spanning 91 volumes, made into anime and even a Kabuki performance this manga is enjoyed by people of all ages all over the world.

Princess Jellyfish © Akiko Higashimura/ Kodansha Ltd

Manga can also tackle serious issues; for example, Princess Jellyfish (Kuragehime) a manga series primarily for women, written and illustrated by a woman, Higashimura Akiko. The series explores expression of gender and identity through a fictional apartment building in Tokyo where only female tenants are allowed. A friendship is formed between one of the tenants and the illegitimate son of a politician, who cross-dresses to avoid his patriarchal duties and to feel closer to his mother. Both of these examples demonstrate the ability of manga to reach and appeal to a wide range of audiences across multiple platforms.

The British Museum has itself starred in a manga, in Hoshino Yukinobu’s 2010 Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure, in which a popular character, professor of folklore at the fictional Tōa Bunka University, embarks on a gripping adventure of potential robbery and retribution in the Museum galleries.

One of the most exciting objects travelling to the UK for the exhibition is the Shintomiza Kabuki Theatre Curtain, generously loaned by the Waseda University Theatre Museum, Tokyo. At 17 metres long and 4 metres high, this giant curtain was originally made to be displayed between acts at the Shintomiza kabuki theatre and will be shown in its full dynamic splendour along one wall of the Sainsbury Exhibition Gallery. Created in 1880 by the painter Kawanabe Kyōsai, the curtain features painted demons and ghosts which emerge from the interplay of lines and colours, leaping out and blurring the worlds of reality and fantasy, as in much of Kyōsai’s art and the printed manga books he produced. Visitors will be able to glimpse the curtain throughout their manga journey in the exhibition, understanding the interplay between traditional brush art and modern manga. Due to the delicate nature of this incredible object, this will be the last time it will travel outside Japan. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity for many visitors in the UK to experience this impressive curtain that is among one of Japan’s most compelling artistic treasures.

Anime and gaming grew out of the manga art form and are immensely popular in Japan and internationally. Anime can trace its origins to 1917, growing in popularity from the 1960s to the global creative industry it is today. Anime will feature in the audio-visual content in the exhibition and an extensive public programme including anime film screenings, late events, lectures and workshops will be revealed in spring 2019.

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

 

Edvard Munch: love and angst at the British Museum – 11 April to 21 July 2019

The Lonely Ones, 1899. Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Munchmuseet

This spring, the British Museum will present a major new exhibition on the work of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944). Edvard Munch: love and angst will focus on Munch’s remarkable and experimental prints, an art form which made his name and examine his remarakble ability to depict raw human emotion. It will be the largest exhibition of Munch’s prints in the UK for 45 years.

The exhibition is a collaboration with Norway’s Munch Museum, and includes nearly 50 prints from their collection, one of the biggest loans of prints the Oslo-based Museum has given internationally. Displayed alongside important Munch works from the British Museum collection and other loans from the UK and Europe, the 83 artworks on show will together demonstrate the artist’s skill and creativity in expressing the feelings and experiences of the human condition – from love and desire, to jealousy, loneliness, anxiety and grief.

The Scream 1895, Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Private Collection, Norway.

A major highlight of the exhibition will be Munch’s The Scream which is one of the most iconic images in art history. The British Museum will display a rare lithograph in black and white which Munch created following a painted version and two drawings of the image. It was this black and white print which was disseminated widely during his lifetime and made him famous. Few copies survive and this will be the first time any version of The Scream will have been on show in the UK for a decade.

Madonna, 1895/1902. Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Munchmuseet

Other highlights of the exhibition include the eerie Vampire II; the controversial Madonna, an erotic image which features an explicit depiction of swimming sperm and a foetus and provoked outrage at the time; and Head by Head which is a stunning print representing the complex relationship between human beings. All three of these prints will be displayed alongside their original matrix (the physical objects which Munch used to transfer ink onto paper) which have never been seen in the UK before. Matrices are usually lost, but Munch was determined to keep control of his. It is rare to be able to show these alongside the prints of such a famous artist.

Head by Head, 1905. Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Munchmuseet

The exhibition will also show how Munch’s artistic vision was shaped by the radical ideas expressed in art, literature, science and theatre in Europe during his lifetime. His most innovative period of printmaking, between the 1890s and the end of the First World War, coincided with a great period of societal change in Europe.

Edvard Munch (1863-1944). Self-Portrait, 1895. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Munch travelled across the Europe on the vast rail network. The exhibition will pay particular attention to three European cities that had major influence on him and his printmaking – Kristiania (Oslo), Paris and Berlin. A small selection of Munch’s personal postcards and maps will be used to give a flavour of Munch’s journeys.

Edvard Munch on the trunk in his studio, 1902. Munchmuseet

Edvard Munch is regarded as one the greatest artists of the early 20th century, and was a pioneer of modern art. Born near Kristiania (today’s Oslo) in 1863, his childhood was plagued by family death and illness. His later life saw him lead a bohemian lifestyle and was marked by frequent tumultuous love affairs. Two key sections of the exhibition demonstrate his passion, but also his fear, of women. He was deeply influenced by contemporary ideas, thinkers and artists including Max Klinger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Henrik Ibsen and his work would go on to influence many other artists both during his lifetime and after his death in Oslo in 1944. A number of works by other artists will be displayed here to highlight these links.

This will be the first exhibition the British Museum has ever dedicated to Munch and visitors will be able to discover his vast body of remarkable work and the culture and society that influenced it.

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Reimagining Captain Cook: Pacific Perspectives at the British Museum – 29 November 2018 to 4 August 2019

This new free exhibition re-examines Captain Cook’s relationship with the people of the Pacific and includes eight contemporary artworks made by Pacific Island artists which have been acquired by the British Museum for this exhibition and are displayed for the first time.

The exhibition has seven sections which each focus on a place where Cook is remembered: Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, New Caledonia, Hawaii, Vanuatu and Tahiti, as well as Great Britain. Cook’s experience of each place was different and these sections not only explore his encounters, but the varied memories that exist today on these islands. The contemporary works by artists from the Pacific Islands are all in some ways a response to Cook’s voyages, including some which are directly responding to Cooks personal possessions which he donated to the British Museum. Together they show that Islanders are still imagining – and reimagining – encounters with Cook to this day.

The exhibition contains 88 objects and images, including 14 contemporary works. Eight of these have been specifically acquired by the Museum for this display and are exhibited here for the first time. Highlights of the contemporary works include Māori artist Steve Gibbs’ Name Changer which aims to restore awareness of the traditional Māori names for the region around Gisborne New Zealand, which Captain Cook renamed “Poverty Bay”. Also on display is a work by the Aboriginal photographer and artist Michael Cook whose work Civilised #12 reflects on the legacy of William Dampier, the first Briton to visit Australia (before Cook), questioning what it means to be ‘civilised’. Early European misunderstandings of Aboriginal people left a legacy still being felt today.

The contemporary artworks on show are now part of the Museum’s collection for the nation, collected in order to challenge the traditional dialogue around Cook and offer new perspectives. One example is New Zealand Māori artist Lisa Reihana, whose work Taking Possession, Lono was recently acquired by the Museum. The work is a still image taken from Reihana’s celebrated panoramic video work In Pursuit of Venus [infected]. Inspired by a 19th century French wallpaper design, which depicts colourful, fantastical scenes from Pacific Islanders’ lives, Reihana inserts Europeans into the landscape in order to reimagine early encounters between Islanders and Europeans.

In this anniversary year, Reimagining Captain Cook: Pacific Perspectives highlights how the islands of the Pacific were transformed by their encounters with Cook, as well as how the islands transformed Cook himself. Two hundred and fifty years after he first set sail for the waters of the Pacific, his legacy continues to be debated, contested and challenged.

For more information, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here