The evening of 15th August 2011 was an absolute treat as Manila manga bloggers, Pinoy post-grad students based in Japan, and local cosplayers came together to join the Japan Foundation, the Ayala Museum, and the Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito of Japan for the opening of “Manga Realities: The Art of Japanese Comics Today”.
The exhibition is part of a travelling collection curated by officers of the Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito of Japan. The works of nine manga artists are on display, including those by Ninomiya Tomoko (Nodame Cantabile), Harold Sakuishi (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad), Asano Inio (Solanin), and Wakaki Tamiki (The World God Only Knows).
We has an absolutely wonderful time at Manga Realities; the exhibits were well-curated, visually engaging, and highly interactive. Ninomiya-sensei’s Nodame portraits were framed in classical European style and accompanied by chandeliers and an upright piano — reminiscent of the manga’s Paris arc. Meanwhile, the Beck exhibit was set against a projection wall and a drum kit — just like what you would see on a rock stage.
However, our personal favorites were the sections dedicated to Solanin and The World God Only Knows. Wakaki-sensei’s manga was portrayed in a schoolroom setting, but with videogame references sprinkled throughout. The Solanin exhibit, on the other hand, was a 1:1 scale model Meiko and Taneda’s apartment from the manga. The attention to detail was fantastic — you had to fight the urge to tiptoe inside the “flat” just like an unwanted guest in someone else’s home.
Due to the large number of people at the opening, we were unfortunately not able to take in the exhibition to the fullest. The collection definitely deserves a second viewing on a less busy day, as a hushed and less stressful environment is more conducive to both exploration and introspection.
The exhibition will run from 16th August to 2nd October 2011 at the Ayala Museum (MAP). The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday (9:00 am to 6:00 pm) and Saturday to Sunday (10:00 am to 7:00 pm). Lectures and panel discussions will be held during the length of the exhibition — one of which will be a Cosplay Photography lecture organized by Cosplay.ph.