Inoue Takehiko of renowned “Slam Dunk” fame takes his manga art to the next dizzying level with “井上雄彦 最後のマンガ展” (Inoue Takehiko : The LAST Manga Exhibition), a collaborative project with Ueno Royal Museum that took 6 months of preparation and production work. The theme of the exhibition is centered on legendary sword master Miyamoto Musashi, the main protagonist of his “Vagabond” manga series, which in turned was based on the novel by Eiji Yoshikawa. Inoue-san produced over 140 unique pieces of Sumi-e ( ink and washing ) paintings for the sole purpose of this exhibition.
Tickets for the exhibition were near impossible to acquire; reserved tickets on sale online were snapped up eons ago, so I had to queue up for the daily tickets sold at the museum.
I’ve arrived on a Saturday morning at 10.30am ( the exhibition starts at 10 ) and there must have been around 4-500 persons waiting to get tickets, I kid you not.
(above) Braving the rain for Vagabond. The queue stretches for much much longer than I can show in the picture. I queued up for an hour till around 11.30am, and by then the day’s tickets have been sold out, so I had to return the next day, this time at 8am. ( Inoue-san himself requested only a limited number of visitors per day via sessions, so that the paintings can be viewed and appreciated in a relaxed pace. )
(above) “Thank you for coming today.” penned personally by Inoue-san.
I meant it quite literally when I said that Inoue-san took his art to the next level in this exhibition – many of the pieces featured were very large and required him to abandon his usual style used for the manga as he flexed his creative muscles and painted in bolder strokes, at times directly onto the white walls of the exhibition hall.
Photography was stricted prohibited, but I will show more pictures from the art book (below) pressed specially for this exhibition that has some prints and sketches, as well as an exhaustive documention of the making of, in part II.