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An exhibition, Crazy Planet: Ghosts, Folk Monsters, and Aliens in Manga – An Aspect of Japanese Media Arts, will be presented from Wednesday, 20th to Sunday, 31st January, 2016 at Matadero Madrid in Madrid, Spain.

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Project for Participation in Overseas Media Arts Festival

Crazy Planet: Ghosts, Folk Monsters, and Aliens in Manga - An Aspect of Japanese Media Arts-
Venue: Nave 16, Matadero Madrid (Plaza de Legazpi, 8, 28045 Madrid, Spain)
Period: Thursday, 20th to Sunday, 31st January, 2016 *Closed on Monday
Opening reception: Wednesday, 20th January at 7:00p.m.
Hours: 16:00-21:00 on weekdays, 11:00-21:00 Saturday and Sunday
Admission: Free

Japan Media Arts Festival
Matadero Madrid, The Japan Foundation, Madrid
Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes / Embassy of Japan in Chile
Honorary Patronage:
Embassy of Japan in Spain
Planning director:
KANAZAWA Kodama (Independent curator)
Project advisor:
YOSHIOKA Hiroshi (Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University / Aesthetics and Art Theory)          MOURI Yoshitaka (Musical Creativity and the
Environment, Tokyo University of the Arts / Sociology)


Planning director: KANAZAWA Kodama

Rumiko Takahashi’s Urusei Yatsura (Annoying Types from the Stars) (1978-87) was a comedy in which aliens, monsters, small gods, time travelers, ghouls and folktale characters appeared one after another in a commonplace Japanese town to woo the senior high school boy hero. The SF fantasy work could be said to have expressed the mistrust and disillusionment born of the great social changes of the 1970’s, including the shifts from Chinese-based to contemporary Western culture, influx of post-war American culture and rise of the consumer society. This representative work of an era of extreme social turmoil for Japan exerted a far-reaching influence on the Japanese comics, cartoons and light novels which followed. The exhibition picks up a number of works which handle this everyday interaction between different worlds as an aspect of Japan’s visual arts. It places a special focus on the latest exemplars, the works of Ryo Hirano, to peruse his contemporary inspiration. In our Internet-connected contemporary world, these confusions may well seem familiar to the people of every land.

KANAZAWA Kodama / Independent curator
A contemporary art curator active in Japan and abroad who handles a broad range of Japanese and global contemporary art, including comics and new media art.


The comic, cartoons and installations that make up Ryo Hirano’s world

[2013 / Animated short film / 20min.]

A cemetery floating in space, a typical Japanese town, Asian jungle, a cave, a cafe, the eyes whorl as one scene follows another. A young man and a bear with an injured snout appear on stage, a Japanese soldier, a tooth, naked woman… The accumulation of unrelated sequences confuses us with its incoherent narrative but the brushwork, rhythm and scenery are also deeply nostalgic. They summon up associated memories and the visions which the author presents weave context.

© 2013 Ryo Hirano/FOGHORN
[2011 / Animated short film / 14 min. 16 sec. / 15th AnimationDivisionJury Selections]

Cable cars cross on the ropeway linking mountain peaks in a resort with a somehow rustic air. We meet a girl whose ears change shape, a naked yellow man, and a newt which walks like a cat and a human being. Water flows, water is drunk, rain falls from the sky, waves lap on the lakeshore and, as the water cycle turns on this vertical axis, the horizontal axis is that of yearning for a particular woman, longing, passion, tension and collisions, descriptions which cut and paste across space and time, luring the viewer into an uncomfortable but unforgettable empathy.

Temps mort
Fantastic World
[2014/ Online comic / 18th Manga Division Jury Selections]

This current web comic is based on the theory of a hollow Earth.Biko and Ha-chan, human beings from the surface world, are stranded in the interior and encounter various characters and incidents in a series of adventures. The fantastic human forms astonish as the classical storyline of friendship and victory pulls us in. It is a work that both follows the royal road and brings us incontact with the state-of-the-art.

Temps mort
Mirror Ball-Chan Jump!
(2015 / GIF animation)

This web comic relates the adventures of Mirror Ball-Chan, an extraordinary lifeform born from the hand of a legendary mirror ball craftsman. It uses the repetitive motion of simple GIF animation of manga timing to generate a fun and striking rhythm for the readers.

Temps mort


Born in Kasukabe City, Saitama Prefecture in 1988. Graduated in Information Design from Tama Art University. His works are pop, deep and visual and he selects his motifs at will in fields ranging from cultural anthropology to folklore and subculture. They also leap across the borders of cartoons, illustration, comics, picture plays, video-jockeying and music. His perspective, however, is always rooted in the familiar and everyday. He dotes on romance and evil-doing.

From Urusei Yatsura to current works, creations which combine multiple cultures, spaces and times

Urusei Yatsura (Annoying Types from the Stars) TAKAHASHI Rumiko
[1978-1987 (Weekly Shōnen Sunday) / Comic]

Senior high school boy Ataru Moroboshi is selected to represent the Earth in a game of tag on which the fate of the planet hangs. He eventually defeats Lum, the ogres’ representative, but Lum then settles into the Moroboshi home as Ataru’s wife and her friends, relatives and others from across the universe and other dimensions then start to turn up one after another in the town of Tomobiki where they live. Urusei Yatsura , the first comic book series by ever popular Rumiko Takahashi, one of Japan’s representative manga authors, features not only aliens but also everything from ghosts and, folk-tale characters to local gods. This witty comedy broke radical new ground and influenced many comics, cartoons, novels and other works which followed.

©Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan
Yoru no Sakana (Night Fish) AZUMA Hideo
[1992 / Comic]

Yoru no Sakana is an I novel in which cult author Hideo Azuma depicts friends and people he meets in the street as animals, insects and ghouls. This everyday life in which fish swim around inside the house, a giant slug lives in the bath and missiles follow him around for no reason may be called a metaphor for both the author’s own inner turbulence and the welter of diverse visual information which disrupts Japanese cities and the mentality of people who live there.

©Hideo Azuma/OHTA BOOKS
[2000-2005 (Monthly IKKI) / Comic / 7th Manga Division Jury Selections]

The story is set in a distant future where 70% of the Earth is now desert. It is a human-interest drama about life and love which focuses on nine leaders of a Peace Force of artificially created life forms and draws on wide-ranging sources from machine and animal forms to fashion, urban and global landscapes, ethnic clothing from around the world, traditional plastic arts, folk tales and cartoons. The setting is in the future but the effect is to produce a distinctive world view that could just as well be in the past or on anotherplanet.

©Taiyo Matsumoto/Shogakukan
Dai Nana Joshikai Hoko (The Seventh Girls’ Wandering) TSUBANA
[Current series from 2008 in Monthly Comic Ryū / Comic / 17th Manga Division Jury Selections]

Entirely ordinary senior high school girls Kaneyan and Takagisan live in a far from normal world where a dead classmate lives on in a digital paradise and the school decides who each student’s friends will be from the time of entry. It is a place of extraordinary happenings where patrols from the future pop over from time to time, weird creatures slip in and a person may be trapped in the mirror world but the days pass by slowly for these girls who take everything for granted and enjoy their everyday life.

Haruko Ichikawa Anthology: Kusaka Kyodai (The Kusaka Siblings) from Mushi to Uta (Insect and Song)
[2009 (Monthly Afternoon) / Comic / 14th Manga Division Jury Selections]

The stories depict life, communication, love and separation in a family whose members take different physical forms from the norm, whether as insects, plants, sea creatures, metal parts or whatever. In The Kusaka Siblings ,a part of senior high school boy Yukiteru’s wardrobe grows into a little sister, Hina, who is actually a shard of meteorite and eventually turns into a replacement piece for Yukiteru’s injured shoulder and becomes a part of him. The pair understand and comfort each other but here the one who shares those emotions is not another person but an inorganic thing, leading us into the limitless possibilities of meetings with alien life.

©Haruko Ichikawa/KODANSHA
Senro to Ie (Track and House) from Boku-wa Mondai Arimasen (I Have No Problem) MIYAZAKI Natsujikei
[2000 - 2005 (Monthly IKKI) / Comic / 7th Manga Division Jury Selections]

There are no aliens, ghosts or monsters in these works but the confusing pictures suggestive of repeated drawing failures and sudden appearances of scenes and objects that seem to have nothing to do with the story make us wonder whether the characters are really people who see things the same way as we do; whether this is present or future time; and whether this is even the Earth. What we are shown is not relations between people at the characters’ own level but instead relations at the level of visual information. This may be regarded as a global, post-Internet phenomenon.

©Natsujikei Miyazaki/KODANSHA

Related Event

Talk Event
Where does fantasy come from? Ryo Hirano talks on the sources of inspiration.

Speakers: HIRANO Ryo (Artist)
Carlos RUBIO (Professor, Complutese University of Madrid)
Marc BERNABÈ(Manga translator)
Moderator: KANAZAWA Kodama (Planning director)
Date & time: 17:00 on Saturday, 23rd January
Venue: Taller, MATADERO

Exhibiting artist Ryo Hirano will participate online. Planning director Kodama Kanazawa moderates a discussion on the environment and culture which produced the sources of inspiration for Hirano’s works between 「2」 speakers expert on Japanese culture with a focus on comics and literature.

■Screening of award-winning works from the Japan Media Arts Festival

Date: Tuesday, 23rd January, 19:30- 
Screening program: Portrait of Japanese Animation
Venue:Taller, MATADERO

■Gallery Tour

Date: Saturday, 23rd January, 13:00-  
Venue: MATADERO Madrid, Nave 16

Co-hosting Event

■The Japan Foundation Media Art Conference : "Crossing Point – Japanese media art, Game and Popular culture"

Speakers: YOSHIDA Hiroshi (Professor at Ritsumeikan University) OKUBO Miki (Lecturer at University of Paris 8)
Date & time: 16:00 on Tuesday, 26rd January
Venue: Medialab-Prado

■Screening of award-winning works from the Japan Media Arts Festival

Date: Tuesday, 26th January, 18:30-
Screening program: Beyond the Technology
Entertainment & Animation Selection 2015