(Gus Fisher Gallery, Fine Arts)
9 January 2013 to 1 February 2013
In recent years the Japanese subcultures of animé and manga have attracted worldwide attention and have been popularised by regions such as Harajuku and Akihabara. For the Japanese, the characters of Hello Kitty and Pocket Monsters are more than fiction; they are viewed as friends and confidantes with devotees developing a strong affinity for particular stories and character traits. The characters of these stories have also invaded the public sphere and are used in supermarket branding, on train tickets, as stuffed toys and fashion accessories.
In JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters the Japanese Foundation brings the relationship between these characters and the Japanese to the fore, providing a cultural and historical background for such a devotion by way of a chronological exposition of popular characters from the 1950s to today.
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There are three exciting public programmes associated with this exhibition:
• Saturday 12 January, 12noon - Associate Professor David Bell, University of Otago discusses the classic manga and anime character Astro Boy in a gallery floor-talk, followed by a film screening of Astro Boy (Hong Kong, 2009) at 1pm.
• Saturday 19 January, 1pm - A screening of a selection of Japanese manga and anime classics, suitable for all ages.
• Saturday 26 January, 1pm - Accompany gallery director Associate Professor Linda Tyler on a visit to our popular local anime store GNC to peruse their extensive range of anime and manga books, DVDs and plushies.