The Manga Wonderland
Text Domenico Paris
«The manga universe is a pan-continental one deeply rooted in the ukiyo-e art genre and, more generally, in the entire figurative and literary tradition of the whole of Asia and not merely Japan as it is often erroneously believed. The great intuition of curator Paul Gravett was to highlight the supra-regional character analyzing it over a well-thought out and developed exhibition concept that offers at last a fairer and more thorough view of such phenomenon».
It is with these words that art historian Daniela Lancioni introduced ‘Mangasia. Wonderlands of Asian comics‘, the largest ever selection of original artworks from Asian comics ever presented in Italy. The exhibition is held at Palazzo delle Esposizioni and will be running until January 21, 2018.
From Japan’s widely known heroes to Bhutan’s unsung counterparts, from China’s propaganda strips to the moving and autobiographical works of Korea’s dissident comics illustrators, the exhibition offers a journey through the most creative and receptive side of Asian comics culture. Comics are not merely an entertainment product designed for the younger ones or a niche genre as it in in the West, they are rather one of the most powerful tools through which to read and interpret reality whilst approaching, at the same time, the transcendent essence of life.
«Manga are not merely black and white strips to be read backwards but rather a very powerful means of expression which has renewed – and continues to perpetually renew – its form and its communication intents» added Lancioni.
Speaking of which, we would like to draw your attention to the last section of the exhibition where images of vocaloid Hatsune Miku as well as other video material show how the magic of manga managed to adapt to the changes imposed by the animation industry without ever losing its true nature.