Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brutes, Beauties & Beasts

Calling all manga lovers!

Sign up for one or more two-hour sessions with internationally acclaimed artist, Hiroki Otsuka, Japan Society’s Mangaka-in-Residence. Start your visit by seeing our exhibition: Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters: Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi from the Arthur R. Miller Collection.

Choose one or more of the five themes from the show as the inspiration for your character: Warriors, Beautiful Women, Theater, Landscapes, and Humor. Workshops take place on the first floor in the Murase room amidst a bamboo garden and an indoor waterfall.

The first residency of its kind in the United States in terms of content, scale and breadth of public engagement, Hiroki Otsuka will create an original full-length manga (Japanese style comic book) inspired by the work of Kuniyoshi—often working on site and visible to visitors. In addition, Otsuka lends his talents to an array of related activities, including the illustration workshops for the general public and New York City high school students (mentioned above), devising and judging an international manga competition, blogging about his work and experience at Japan Society, and creating original Kuniyoshi-inspired artwork to be made available to the public.

Otsuka will also participate in Japan Society's food-themed all-day festival j-CATION (April 10), and the Society's second annual cosplay event, Cosplay Party 2.0 (May 15), for which he will create promotional artwork.

"Kuniyoshi's love of complex narrative, his busy, frenetic style, his powerful characterization, his inventive use of space, and his mass-market appeal all mark him as a grandfather of contemporary manga," says Joe Earle, Director of Japan Society Gallery and organizer of Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters. "We are underlining the parallels between Kuniyoshi’s work and contemporary manga by asking Hiroki Otsuka—an outstanding manga artist living in New York—to serve as our mangaka-in-residence, inspiring visitors by creating his own meta-narrative about Kuniyoshi and his work."

Otsuka's yet-to-be titled original manga, which begins production on the March 12 opening of Graphic Heroes Magic Monsters, centers on a teenager who comes to Japan Society's exhibition as part of a school group. The student literally gets drawn into the artwork as a Kuniyoshi-inspired warrior and is called on to save New York City from the multitude of monsters marauding throughout Kuniyoshi's prints.

No comments: