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Angoulême focus on Arab comics

In France, a new exhibition on Arab comics launches at the Angoulême Comics Festival.

France’s 46th Angoulême International Comics Festival, which closed last week, included a special focus on Arab comics, according to Olivia SnaijeBookwitty‘s English-language editorial manager in Paris and Publishing Perspectives contributor.

As Snaije writes at Bookwitty, traditions of cartooning in the Arab world can be traced to the 19th century. In the modern era, “The lead-up to the Arab Spring and its subsequent failings has galvanized the comics scene, also giving rise to women cartoonists such as Nadia Khiari, known as Willis from Tunis, and many others, in what was a traditionally male-dominated area.”

An exhibition, The New Generation: Arab Comics Today, opened with the festival and is scheduled to be on view until November 4 at Angoulême’s Museum of Comics on Quay Charente.

The official catalogue of the exhibition was published Friday (February 2) by Alifbata, and is available now with its text in both French and English. The volume features more than 40 of the artist-authors from the exhibition, as well as three critical essays that contextualize the frequently challenged place the comics sector has held in the Maghreb and Levant.

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The Book of Wonder

Tara Books travels to Japan for an exhibition that celebrates the exhilarating work of the Chennai-based indie publisher.

In the summer of 2013, when Gita Wolf was invited to the Itabashi Museum in Tokyo to run atelier workshops for Japanese illustrators and designers, the publisher conceived a programme that would tie together the interest of the Japanese in paper art and the unique book-making journey of her Chennai-based independent publishing house,  . The theme — forms of books — yielded a prodigious crop: three of the projects became published books, with one more underway, but it also spread the word about Tara’s exhilarating work in publishing. Over the course of the last two years, Kiyoko Matsuoka, one of the chief curators of the Itabashi Museum, and her team travelled to Chennai to meet up with Wolf and V Geetha, editorial director, to plan an exhibition on their work. On November 25, last year, “Beautiful Books Can Change the World: The Universe of Tara Books”, opened at the Itabashi museum, featuring over 300 original artwork created by tribal and folk artists for Tara’s diverse range of publications, short films on the making of noteworthy titles and first editions.

The second phase of the exhibition will open in April in the city of Nagoya and then travel to other parts of Japan later in the year. “(Matsuoka) conceived of this in the form of an exhibition that would trace our book-making journey, both our experiments with the handmade book and our publishing across genres, from children’s picture books to visual essays for adult readers, art activity books to books on contemporary social concerns that bother children,” says Geetha.

One of the stalwarts of indie publishing in India, Tara’s work in its 23 years-long journey has been remarkable for the way it combines India’s indigenous art forms to tell enduring stories to a young, primarily urban, readership. Titles such as Sita’s Ramayana by Samhita Arni and Patua artist Moyna Chitrakar, A Village is a Busy Place by V Geetha and Rohima Chitrakar, or The London Jungle Book by Gond artist Bhajju Shyam experiment as much with the form and art of the book as with the plurality of narrative voices. “Geetha and I were part of a feminist group in Chennai, Snehidi, and amongst other things, we tried to build a small feminist library. In the course of conversations, we would end up talking about what is available for children to read, and … I wondered if we could not have a different sort of children’s book, which spoke to our context, and with characters that Indian children could identify with. This is how the idea for [Tara Books] emerged…,” says Wolf.

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HOCA Foundation presents “The World of Tintin”

Tintin

HONG KONG. – 11 October 2017 – HOCA Foundation is proud to announce a landmark exhibition exploring the adventures of global icon Tintin. The largest presentation in Hong Kong to date, it showcases 8 albums from the renowned “The Adventures of Tintin” series. The immersive experience, featuring vivid scenography, celebrates the imaginative world created by the Belgian illustrator and creator of Tintin, Hergé. Presented in collaboration with the Hergé Museum, “THE WORLD OF TINTIN,” will run from November 17 – December 26, 2017 at the new ArtisTree, venue sponsored by Swire Properties. A public two-day conference, as well as a series of educational comic art workshops will run in parallel, tailored for students in collaboration with local schools.

Created in 1929, the Tintin adventures have been translated into over 100 languages and sold more than 230 million copies worldwide. Each thematic section of the exhibition has been designed by HOCA Foundation to bring the intrepid boy reporter to life. “THE WORLD OF TINTIN” traces Hergé’s path from his first stories to his mature works, following Tintin as he crosses continents between North America, Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond.

A cultural touchstone of the 20th century, the canonical series of Tintin albums featured include Tintin in America; Cigars of the Pharaoh; The Blue Lotus; The Broken Ear; King Ottokar’s Sceptre; The Shooting Star; The Red Sea Sharks and Tintin in Tibet. Packed with gripping adventures, action and page-turning humor, the show highlights Tintin beyond the fictional narrative, offering a lens into the social and political contexts of its time. Visual art has played an important role in documenting historical events, and the series serve as vehicles to express Herge’s views on the conflicts and topics of his time. Ushering a new dimension in comic strips, the Tintin series has since been recognized as an important work of art that reflects the changing perspectives of its audience throughout the 1900s.

The welcoming exhibition also includes three specially created models of Tintin scenes, including a model of Tintin’s apartment; a large diorama of the ticker tape parade in Chicago from Tintin in America, highlighting Hergé’s sophisticated use of perspective; and a collector’s model of a street scene populated by signature Tintin cars, accurately rendered from the automobiles of the time. Flanked by colorful scenes set in vinyl throughout the space and reconstituted as the show’s wallpaper, the exhibition design transforms Hergé’s motifs into a compelling environment that befits his trademark characters and evokes the illustrator’s magical world and limitless imagination.

Committed to art education and enabling access to art for the wider public, HOCA Foundation also presents a 2-day public conference exploring the importance of comic art in contemporary society. The free event will feature panels exploring Tintin’s legacy, as well as a keynote lecture by Michael Farr, the world’s foremost ‘Tintinologist’. In collaboration with local schools, a series of comic art workshops, led by local illustrators will also activate families and students to engage with and be inspired by Tintin stories. All educational events are generously sponsored by blueprint and Semeiotics, with additional support from the ticket sales of Freespace at Taikoo Place, co-presented by Swire Properties and West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. (Please refer to Appendix I for full details of Educational Program)

To celebrate the first full-scale exhibition of Tintin in Hong Kong, 3 pop-up shops will also be presented around Hong Kong, at ArtisTree, CityPlaza and Central, presenting a wide range of Tintin gifts, books and memorabilia.

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