Genga’ (original dash) Exhibition

Kinokuniya Gallery, Tokyo Japan

August 22 – September 4


Keiko Takemiya

Tokyo, Japan

Keiko Takemiya, professor of art at Kyoto Seika University and one of the leaders of female mangaka (cartoonists) in Japan, has created a very unique art exhibition which was shown in summer of  2003  (August 22 to September 5) at the Kinokunia gallery in Tokyo, Japan. This exhibition was composed of only reproductions, but the high quality bears comparison with the originals. While a successful exhibition, it evokes the controversial issue of the value of “Original vs, Copy” in this post-modernism era.


Keiko Takemiya

August 23, 2003 at Kinokuniya Gallery

1. Messages from Keiko Takemiya

2. Examples of artworks

Takemiya said:
In art exhibitions, original art should be exhibited in general. However, is it only one way to exhibit in the case of narrative comic art, Story Manga. Story manga is a popular art which developed as printed matter. If the value of the story manga is that it is read and seen by many people, it follows that it is possible to exhibit it in different ways. Like films and printmaking, which exist as copies but not the original (matrix) ones, I am wondering if it might not be appropriate to exhibit manga reproductions.

Because of the fact that manga was created to be cheap and accessible, it might be true that it has never been distributed to readers in the same quality of the original artwork. However, due to the development of technology, even amateurs can now create high quality prints and copies that are almost the same as the original, if they have the patience and the passion. With this technology and craftsmanship, if we have patience enough to adjust the quality of the print to exactly match the original, there may be no loss in the quality of the viewing experience. According to this belief, I organized this exhibition.


“Genga’ (dash) exhibiti

“This is not an exhibition of the original artwork”

Takemiya continues:
Why not exhibit the original artwork, if they are available? The originals are very important and not easy for mangaka (comic artists) to part with since they live by copying the originals. Indeed, there are many mangaka including myself who prefer not to lend the originals out for exhibitions due to the fear of loss or fading.

If there is an opportunity to show manga exhibitions in this way, it may be possible to share the value of story manga in nearly original quality in different places without those fears. Furthermore, it might be possible to make the best use of story manga as a wonderful property. Due to the above reasons, I decided to create these 60 computer copies (Genga’ – genga dash) of the originals for this experimental exhibition.


“Why is this not an exhibition of original artwork?”

“A view of Kinokuniya gallery”