Architecture & Interior Design
Manga | Universal

Manga
British Museum

Client
The British Museum

Size
1,100.sqm

Status
Completed May 2019

Photography
Charles Hosea

The immersive exhibition design for Manga was the largest showcase of manga ever to take place outside of Japan Read More

Designed as though the viewer had stepped into the pages of a manga artwork, with the intention of architecturally expressing the emotion of the visual narrative art form.

We were inspired by the genre’s composition of line, framing, scale, colour, flatness and depth, to create simple yet monolithic forms that depict original hand-drawn genga artworks on a human scale. A monochromatic backdrop was punctuated with impactful and eye-catching fluorescent accents spanning floor to ceiling, which framed the oversized prints and drawings suspended throughout the exhibition.

Manga was designed to showcase both historic and contemporary forms of the Japanese phenomenon, visually and experientially bringing the graphic stories to life, ranging from gender identity to action and adventure, set within real and fantastical worlds. Curated over six thematic sections, each with a distinct arrangement that explored the origins of the art form, craftsmanship, the production of manga and also the cultural significance of the medium, we engineered the exhibition flow to allow visitors to discover the narrative in a variety of ways, from prescriptive journeys to abstract self-discovery.

Five of the sections formed the central gallery space, surrounding the viewer with original artwork, while the perimeter provided a canvas of large format manga and anime characters, leading the eye across varying paces and perspectives, from the familiar to the unfamiliar. The exhibition encompassed not only a wide range of multi-platform content, from video interviews and projected anime episodes to drawings, paintings and inflatable sculptures, but also specially commissioned pieces by iconic artist Takehiko Inoue, bringing manga to life in a variety of forms and offering insight into the world of the artist.

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