Today saw the opening of the Manga Jiman 2020 Winners Exhibition at the Embassy Of Japan in London. I popped along. The 14th Manga Jiman Competition (UK) aims to increase the profile of manga and Japanese culture in Britain and the rest of the world, be encouraging people, especially the young, to participate.
'The 2020 edition of the competition asked entrants to reference the theme of 'technology' in their entry, and the short stories selected by the judges approached the theme in varied and interesting ways, with artists capitalising on a huge range of narrative and illustrative styles in their work
. Selections of artwork from all that entered the 2020 competition are currently on display. Visitors to the Embassy are required to book their visit in advance via this system below. In order to control the number of visitors to the exhibition, visits are restricted to one hour. Members of the public are encouraged to take part and contribute to the #MJmangawall projected in the embassy during the exhibition, by posting a sketch and tag it with #MJmangawall on Twitter or Instagram.
The winner was Chloe Starling from London, with her short story, Even Androids Dream.
She writes of the competition, " In 2018, I started attending WIP Comics, a comics creator group in London, and heard about it from other members. It took a few years to build up the confidence to enter! I first started reading manga when I was a teenager. My older sister had borrowed a couple volumes from someone at school and I sneaked a look. I found a bookstore in my hometown, Swindon, that sold manga. After that I was hooked! I've always loved visual stories and was taken in by the wide variety of narratives told in manga. I'm drawn to manga that explore different sides of humanity and morality, but with an element of humour thrown in. My favourite manga growing up was Full Metal Alchemist by Arakawa Hiromu. I'm also involved in the small press comics scene in London and am constantly inspired by the comics people self-publish." And of her winning entry, "I wanted to give technology a human edge. Exploring the mundanity of completing the same tasks every day and only being able to escape through dreams. I came up with the idea being stuck inside during the COVID-19 pandemic and realising how much we take technology for granted! I found persevering on the comic a challenge and building up the confidence to enter. I enjoyed the creation process the most. The way small observations, and sometimes mistakes, can spark inspiration."
You can also see the winners and runners-up in the YouTube video below. You can get free tickets to enter through Things To Do In London In June If You Like Comics.