Today, Young V&A have announced the much-anticipated details of their very first exhibition, Japan: Myths to Manga. Marking the beginning of a new programme of exhibitions dedicated to inspiring young minds through design and performance; Japan: Myths to Manga will take young people and their families on an imaginative and playful journey through Japan.
The exhibition will open on Saturday October 14 and will be divided into four sections which will explore how popular Japanese stories have helped shape art, design, and technology across the centuries.
The exhibition begins with the Sky; the setting for many of Japan’s most loved stories. Based around three popular myths, this section shows how artists through the ages have drawn inspiration from the sun, the moon, and the stars. Epic tales set above and below the waves are explored in the exhibition’s second section, Sea, whilst the third section delves into Japan’s ancient Forest and the mythical stories of shapeshifting creatures and superheroes it has inspired. The final section propels visitors into the City, introducing the culture of “kawaii” (cuteness) and the global phenomena that are manga, anime, and gaming technology.
New acquisitions and rarely seen works from across the V&A’s collections will be brought together and reimagined for young people and their families. An exciting selection of interactive, hands-on activities such as origami-making, taiko-drumming and manga-drawing will spark the creativity and imagination among visitors of all ages.
Japan has produced some of the world’s most exceptional art and design. Japan: Myths to Manga will feature works by celebrated 19th century Japanese artists and will bring together over 150 historic and contemporary objects.
Objects including a Tamagotchi (1997), a Hello Kitty rice cooker (2014), and a manga inspired Comme des Garçonscoat (2018), will be on display. The importance of respecting the world around us will be highlighted in the eye-catching sculpture made from disused car parts and colourful paper, Double Spiral (2015). A poignant installation of 1,000 paper cranes, a symbol of remembrance from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan will also be on display.
Katy Canales, Curator of Japan: Myths to Manga, said: “Japan’s striking landscape and wealth of myths have sparked imaginative and innovative responses from artists and designers for centuries and we can’t wait for it to inspire our young visitors and their grown-ups too.”
Japan: Myths to Manga opens at Young V&A on October 14, 2023 and runs until August 11, 2024. Tickets are on sale now.
Find out more and book your tickets here.