4 February 2012 – 24 June 2012
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
This vibrant exhibition offers the chance to encounter characters from television, computer games and comics. Many have become much loved household names around the world.
Kingdom of Characters comes to the Sainsbury Centre following displays in Manila and Sydney. Providing an overview of manga and anime through the second half of the 20th century, the exhibition provides a unique insight into this cultural phenomenon.
It will also give fans the chance to come face-to-face with some of their favourite characters, including humansized Ultraman, Pikachu and a Hello Kitty ‘skipping’ through the gallery.
As well as 3D characters, the exhibition includes graphic illustrations and even a room-set of a teenager’s Hello Kitty bedroom. The set has also been specially designed by the Sainsbury Centre to allow younger visitors the chance to peep into the room, which is decorated with merchandise featuring Kitty in her many manifestations, from duvetcover to alarm clock. Anime screenings and graphic illustrations are included in the exhibition and create a context for the visiting characters.
The exhibition asks some thought-provoking questions about what characters are, why they are so popular and how they have become central to everyday life within contemporary Japanese society. The exhibition also considers ideas such as the importance of characters as design products.
2 December 2011 from 6.30pm
The Japan Foundation, London
Russell Square House
10-12 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5EH
From Pokémon to Hello Kitty, a remarkable quality and range of Japanese subcultures has been sweeping the world, most notably in manga, anime, and more recently computer games. Indeed, the Japanese have long lived with this culture, nurturing a passion for the variety of characters around them.
Prior to the opening of the Japan Foundation’s exhibition, JAPAN: Kingdom of Charactersin February 2012, which will pay homage to the creation of many diverse figures since the 1950s, the Japan Foundation has invited Hiroyuki Aihara, President of the Character Research Institute and main curator of the exhibition, to explore in an illustrated talk the loving relationship between Japanese society and characters, mapping it in an historical context. The impact that such characters have had, both upon Japanese society and on global society, shall also be discussed.
This talk will provide an insight into the world of Japanese characters. Audience members are encouraged to wear or carry their favourite character as a tribute!
This talk event is organised in association with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.
The Japan Foundation exhibition JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters will open at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, on 4th February 2012.
This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to firstname.lastname@example.org