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August 19, 2019

ICOM Kyoto 2019 The Challenges of Exhibiting Manga

During ICOM Kyoto 2019, a panel session will be dedicated to the topic of exhibiting manga and comic.

We asked the organisers of the panel ‘Possibilities and Impossibilities of Exhibiting Manga/comic’ to tell us more about the session.

What is the aim of this panel?

The aim of the is to discuss the possibilities and opportunities of exhibiting manga manuscript collections. Experts will debate perceived binaries such as “original vs. reproduction”, “digital vs. analogue”, “popular culture vs. fine art”, “culture vs. industry”. We believe that discussing the potentials of exhibiting manga engages museum professionals to re-consider the contemporary role of the post-modern museum from a broader perspective.

“We believe that discussing the potentials of exhibiting manga engages museum professionals to re-consider the contemporary role of the post-modern museum from a broader perspective.”

Why is the exhibition of Manga/comic important for the future of tradition?

If there is a difference between the display of manga/popular culture and, for example, archaeological artefacts, exhibiting manga may have an impact on the matter dealt with there. While exhibitions of prehistoric artefacts and objects have little direct impact on contemporaneity, manga exhibitions may have the potential of affecting how we read, understand, and engage with manga. In some cases, such exhibitions may even have an influence on the works of manga themselves. In other words, exhibitionary spaces of manga create the “tradition” of the future manga.

“(…) such exhibitions may even have an influence on the works of manga themselves. In other words, exhibitionary spaces of manga create the “tradition” of the future manga.”

A message for ICOM Kyoto participants? 

The discussion on exhibiting popular culture is not only limited to manga, but also relevant to the on-going discussions on whether photography, film, and design, for example, should be included into art museums. The Manga Panel further touches upon questions of canonising classifications. For instance, we also discuss how folklore livelihood, such as Minka (traditional folklore houses) and Mingu (folklore objects) can be presented in ethnographic or/and history museums (such exhibitions were popular in the 1950s, Japan). From this point of view, discussions on the manga exhibit question and challenge conventional understandings of museum categories and exhibitionary practices.

ICOM KYOTO 2019

Between the 1st and the 7th of September 2019, Kyoto (Japan) will host the biggest and most important conference of museums in the world. More than 3.000 museum professionals and experts from all international backgrounds will participate in this triannual event, the 25th General Conference of ICOM.  After 24 successful editions, ICOM’s flagship conference has become a worldwide reputed hub for exchange about the topical issues museums tackle today, as well as the most innovative solutions.

ICOM Kyoto 2019 website

THE PROGRAMME