HA NOI — The Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Ha Noi is hosting an exhibition of 60 drawings by manga (Japanese comic) artists entitled Women and Manga: Connecting with Cultures beyond Japan.
|Kawaii: The Silverday Fairytale by Mutsumi Hagiiwa is among the drawings on display at an exhibition of manga art by women. – Photo courtesy Japan Foundation
Manga, comics serialised in magazines and books, have become a global phenomenon. Shojo manga, or "girls' comics" have a history of over half-a-century in which they have inspired women, in contrast to many countries around the world in which comics have tended to target boys instead of girls.
The exhibition therefore focuses on manga works created by women for women, and was accompanied yesterday by a workshop by Japanese and Vietnamese comic artists and an international conference of scholars which examined the influence of comics on society.
Japanese manga is popular in many countries, including Viet Nam, Indonesia and Thailand, said Assoc Prof Sakae Kato from Japan's Daito Bunka University.
When the story of the cyborg cat Doraemon was published in Viet Nam for the first time in 1992, it was welcomed so warmly that the number of copies published set a record in Vietnamese publishing up to that time, he noted. Vietnamese readers have since enjoyed many other Japanese comics.
"People in Viet Nam often think that comics are for children only," said Kato. "However, I realised that some Vietnamese artists have released some good comics for adults."
Manga authors Mutsumi Hagiiwa from Japan and Foo Swee Chin from Singapore, who displayed their works at the exhibition, also held a meeting with Vietnamese readers last week. They introduced the artworks of Hideko Mizuno and Moto Hagio, two leading Japanese manga authors in the early days of the art form.
Mizuno, 73, has been celebrated as a shojo manga and the artist who began the style of drawing sparkling stars in character's eyes, while award-winning Hagio, 63, is often called "a god of shojo manga".
The exhibition continues through April 15 at 27 Quang Trung Street in Ha Noi. — VNS