JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES WILL HOST JAPANESE MANGA ARTIST NAOKI URASAWA‘s exhibition, “This is MANGA – The ART of Naoki Urasawa” from January 23, 2019 to March 28, 2019.
This is Urasawa’s first North American exhibition.
Urasawa had his debut as a cartoonist in 1983. He has won numerous comic book awards. Urasawa is considered a modern master, combining dynamic storytelling and transcendent artistic skill in his development of rich and sophisticated characters. His stories touch upon the hopes, dreams, and at times underlying fears of humanity.
Urasawa released the mystery series “MONSTER” in the mid-1990’s which brought him worldwide fame. After that, his comic book sales reached more than 127 million sold in Japan, and today it is sold in over 20 different countries.
This retrospective exhibition will introduce Urasawa’s ideas from inception through development with an extraordinary presentation of more than 400 original drawings and storyboards. Selected stories from seven of his major works will be presented, highlighting the breadth of the artist’s narrative styles, including: YAWARA!, MONSTER, 20th CENTURY BOYS, PLUTO, BILLY BAT, MASTER KEATON ReMASTER (Story by Takashi Nagasaki), and MUJIRUSHI.
© 2000 Naoki URASAWA/Studio Nuts
“20th Century Boys” was originally published by SHOGAKUKAN
Four consecutive stories from YAWARA! will be presented over the course of the exhibition, one story every two weeks, encouraging visitors to return multiple times to experience the work in the weekly serial style of many Japanese comic anthologies.
This rare opportunity to enjoy Urasawa’s manga directly from his original hand drawn storyboards offers a unique glimpse into the artist’s process and psyche. The strength of Urasawa’s storytelling is equally matched by his artwork and character design. Each of his worlds hosts a wide roster of distinct, fully-rendered personas.
Urasawa is a fan of 1960s & 1970s and its influence is reflected in “20th CENTURY BOYS”. He is an especially big fan of Bob Dylan. In 2007 he published “Talk About Dylan” which was co-authored with producer/artist, Koji Wakui. In 2016, Urasawa hosted special events at his exhibitions called “Play and Sing Bob Dylan and Draw and Draw”.
The exhibition will also introduce those new to manga to the Japanese comic style. Manga as an art form, is a fusion of story and artwork, evolved from picture book styles developed in the late 19th century. The modern form of manga was pioneered and furthered by a collection of artists in the period just after World War II. One of those pioneering artists was Osamu Tezuka. Often referred to as the “god of manga” in his home country, Tezuka introduced modern narrative techniques, complex characters and themes, and visual effects influenced by cinema. Urasawa has been deeply influenced by the work of Tezuka as evidenced by the cinematic sense of framing, kinetic pace and rhythm found within his work. He is the only manga artist to win the Osamu Tezuka Culture Award Grand Prize twice.
This exhibition is a comprehensive look into the art of Naoki Urasawa from multiple perspectives while providing an invaluable opportunity for the public to gain insight into the brilliance and incredible worldview of an artist attracting new readers globally.
Attendees will be able to meet Urasawa in person on January 23, 2019 for a book signing and Interview.
Don’t miss it.
Naoki Urasawa Book Signing
Date: January 23
Time: 6 – 7 p.m.
Venue: JAPAN HOUSE Gallery, Level 2
Fee: Book purchase at the JAPAN HOUSE “monozukuri shop”
Drawing My World: An Interview with Naoki Urasawa
Date: January 23
Time: 7:15 – 8:45 p.m.
Venue: JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5