The Citi Exhibition: Manga

A novel approach to comics

Visually arresting, imaginative and powerful – Manga is a unique form of graphic storytelling synonymous with Japanese culture. Amassing fans across the globe, a seminal showcase of the phenomenon now lands in Britain, the largest ever to take place outside its home country. This Citi exhibition will explore Manga’s fascinating origins, its impact on contemporary culture and influence on everything from food to fashion and graffiti to gaming.

Manga’s roots stretch back to 1200 AD but it was popularised in printed serial form in the 1920s. Even now most Manga stories are told in black and white, and the panels flow from back to front, upper right to the lower left of the page. Today, this multi-billion dollar branch of art spans genres and media, with dedicated publishers, gaming strands and directors transforming storylines into Anime films and TV series.

Among the mangaka exhibiting in Britain will be Moto Hagio, Akiko Higashimura and record-breaking Eiichiro Oda, with miniature masterpieces shown alongside epic artworks. They include Kawanabe Kyōsai’s extraordinary 17-metre long Shintomiza Kabuki Theatre Curtain, its delicate state making it likely this will be its final appearance outside Japan. Alongside historical and contemporary pieces, visitors can don cosplay costumes, step into transformative photo booths, and browse Tokyo’s oldest original Manga bookshop – recreated in London. It promises to be an immersive, inclusive and inspiring experience.

Anyone who enters this exhibition will become, by the end, fluent in Manga.

Nicole Rousmaniere, Curator

Find out more


23 May - 26 August 2019


The British Museum
Great Russell St