Lyman Allyn Art Museum Presents Hello Manga Exhibition

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum presents Hello Manga a new exhibition on view through March 17, 2012.

Since the 1980’s, Japanese comics have been capturing the attention of the American public and inspiring artists and fans. Hello Manga! celebrates the art of manga and explores its popularity with American audiences. Both longtime fans and those new to manga will enjoy the illustrations, books, costumes, collectibles, and manga-inspired wall murals in this exhibition. These objects highlight manga’s impact on American reading habits, fan culture, and artwork. This exhibition has been organized by Carolyn Grosch, Assistant Curator at the Lyman Allyn, along with Connecticut College professors Takeshi Watanabe and Sayumi Harb.

Hiro Mashima © Copyright Hiro Mashima/Kodansha Ltd. All rights reserved.

In Japan, there is a manga for everyone. Comics are produced for a wide variety of ages and audiences, covering a full spectrum of genres. Many of these comics have found popularity in the States, especially among young adult audiences. “One of the greatest aspects of manga is the creativity it inspires,” says Assistant Curator Carolyn Grosch. “Fans create their own costumes or are inspired to draw or create figurines of their favorite characters. Hello Manga! includes several examples of this type of creation.” The exhibition also features murals painted directly on the gallery walls by artists working in the manga style. Lily Cernak, artist for the webcomic Farewell Feeling, will be filling over twenty feet of wall space with the characters her fans know and love. Lea Hernandez, creator of Rumble Girls and Cathedral Child will also contribute a mural.

One of the major themes of the exhibition is the exchange between East and West—how manga has made an impact in the United States and how Americans have influenced manga in return. Some of the popular manga represented include Ghost in the Shell; Astro Boy; BlackJack; Ashita no Joe; FairyTail; Trigun; FLCL; Akira; Yotsuba&!; Fruits Basket; Death Note; Neon Genesis Evangelion; and Naruto.

A special section of the exhibition will illustrate the process of creating manga and examine its close ties with anime, or Japanese animated film. This section includes step-by-step drawings by Alex Mamo, a Connecticut College graduate who trained as a manga artist in Japan. Mamo’s images will be shown along with animation cels and sketches from several popular anime films and TV series, including Akira, Sailor Moon, Dragonball, and My Neighbor Totoro.

Also accompanying the exhibition is a selection of nineteenth-century Japanese prints and textiles from the Lyman Allyn’s permanent collection that are early examples of how Americans developed a taste for Japanese culture and spurred a market suited to their preferences. Highlights of this section include a battle-scene print depicting the attack on Kuren Castle during the Sino-Japanese War, a hand-carved rickshaw sculpture of a carriage and its riders, and an embroidered silk kimono. Woodblock prints on loan from a private collector include several selections from Katsushika Hokusai’s sketchbooks—what were referred to as manga during the Edo period.

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum’s mission is to respond and to appeal to the regional community. In that spirit, the museum has planned an exciting schedule of programs to accompany Hello Manga!. The programs are designed to engage people of all ages.

Lyman Allyn Art Museum
625 Williams Street
New London, Connecticut, 06320
[email protected]

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