Japanese Art versus Manga and Anime

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Hayashi Seiichi is famous in both Japan and the West for his avant-garde comics, experimental animated films, and multifaceted contributions to Tokyo’s postwar counterculture. His work is also steeped deeply in the traditional arts of Japan. Join Hayashi and art historian Ryan Holmberg in a discussion on the relationship between modern Japanese pop culture, ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and classical ink painting and calligraphy. This is a rare opportunity to meet a Japanese artistic legend.

Hayashi Seiichi is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist. Born in 1945, he was a leading figure in the vibrant avant-garde cultural scene of late 1960s and early 1970s Tokyo.

A lover of comic books since childhood, in 1968 he became a regular contributor to the legendary alternative manga magazine Garo. He soon became renowned for pioneering new territory in the medium of comics, with stories ranging from allegorical critiques of postwar Americanisation and the Vietnam War, to touching reflections on motherhood inspired by Japanese woodblock prints and pop music.

Hayashi is perhaps best known for his graphic novel masterpiece Red Coloured Elegy (Sekishoku Erejii, 1970-71) and his distinctive character designs for Lotte Koume (Little Plum) sweets, which debuted in 1974. His images of a young girl in kimono still remain on the sweets’ packaging today.

Three books of Hayashi’s comics are available in English: Red Coloured Elegy (Drawn & Quarterly, 2008), Gold Pollen and Other Stories (PictureBox, 2013), and Flowering Harbour (Breakdown Press, 2014).

Date: Thursday, 3 July 2014, 6pm
Venue: Sainsbury Institute, 64 The Close, Norwich NR1 4DH

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