Manga celebrated at British Museum exhibition

This summer, the British Museum will host the largest exhibition of Manga ever held outside of Japan. As you can read below, Lexus has produced its own pieces to commemorate the Japanese art form.

Running from 23 May to 26 August 2019, The Citi exhibition Manga will explore its appeal and bring to life how this influential Japanese art form emerged and grew to be a cultural phenomenon, entertaining, inspiring and challenging audiences all over the globe.

Learn more: Documentary explores the skills of takumi craftspeople

Visitors will be taken on an audio-visual journey explaining how the genre formed a new, international visual language, displaying examples of early artworks from the 18th and 19th centuries, right through to anime, gaming and even ‘cosplay’ performance art.


There will be interactive features too. Visitors will be able to enter a rendering of the oldest surviving manga bookshop in Tokyo, go inside the artists’ world, meet the editors and be ‘manga-fied’ in a special photo booth.

Manga: a brief history

Manga – where art and storytelling collides – is traditionally associated with comic books and graphic novels, but the art form can be traced back to 1200 AD, when an unknown artist created a set of humorous painted handscrolls depicting scenes where animals behave like humans.


Notable early pieces include artist Kawanabe Kyōsai’s provocative and humorous Shintomiza Kabuki Theatre Curtain from the 1800s (pictured above). Visitors will be able to glimpse the curtain throughout their journey in the exhibition, understanding the interplay between traditional brush art and modern works.

Learn more: What does takumi craftsmanship mean to Lexus?

Manga as we know it today didn’t emerge until the 1920s, featuring in cartoon strips in magazines and newspapers. As it continued to develop over the years it took many different forms, with a vast variety of styles and subject matter. It appeals to all ages, reflecting different voices, identities and forms of expression.


Exhibition at Japan House London

In addition to the British Museum event, Japan House London will be hosting a two-month exhibition (5 June – 28 July 2019) celebrating the works of internationally acclaimed artist, Urasawa Naoki.

Since his professional debut in 1983, Urasawa has engaged readers with dynamic storytelling and sophisticated characters that explore the hopes, dreams, and underlying fears of humanity. His drawing style highlights the craftsmanship of manga, being famous for his innovative compositional techniques and bold black and white panels.


Lexus Manga 

While these two high-profile exhibitions were going on, we decided to create some manga artworks of our own. Featuring the Lexus LC flagship coupé, the Lexus UX compact SUV and the ES luxury saloon, they will be revealed on this blog in the coming weeks.


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