Purpose of the Exhibition
This online exhibition is the fourth installment of the well-received ‘Manga Pandemic Web Exhibition’ series held every year since 2020.
The theme of this exhibition is how we humans are facing the Coronavirus as it continues to spread around the world. To harness the unrestricted power of expression and international expansion of manga for this project we have sought submissions and published the artwork online.
In the past three installments, we received a total of over 2459 artwork submissions from 601 groups, representing 123 countries and regions around the world. The works ranged from single panels to story manga and visually depicted the ‘new normal’ with humor and satire. They also clearly highlighted the political and cultural differences of various countries and regions, including the ways in which they deal with infectious diseases.
In Japan, the law was revised in April of 2023, and Coronavirus is now equated to “an infectious disease such as new strains of influenza.” As a result, various restrictions have been eased and life is returning to normal as if the Coronavirus pandemic has been resolved. However, this does not mean that the number of infected people is decreasing.
Therefore, for a 4th time, we would once again like to invite submissions on the theme of ‘pandemic’ for a new installment of the exhibition.
In addition, like last year, we are also inviting works on the theme of ‘peace’ this year.
‘Peace’ in this context, refers not only to the ‘absence of war’, but rather to the definition adopted by peace studies in recent years, being the ‘absence of violence.’ Also, within that definition, ‘violence’ refers to that which ‘hinders the full flowering of human abilities’ (hunger; poverty; social discrimination; suppression of human rights; environmental destruction; delays in medical care, education and welfare; etc.) In other words, ‘violence’ exists in various forms in ‘our daily lives’ rather than ‘somewhere in the world’.
The original setting for this ‘Manga Pandemic Web Exhibition’ was that Coronavirus may be causing such violence to spread worldwide. However, since last year, a very direct act of violence – a ‘war’ – has unfolded before our very eyes. Therefore, we decided to add ‘peace’ as another theme.
Both ‘pandemic’ and ‘war’ are historical world events, and it is important to accurately record the state of being and changes people experience while living in the midst of these challenges of humankind, so that we can look back on history later on. We firmly believe that manga is an appropriate form of expression for this purpose, which can serve as a useful resource for documenting human history.
As in previous years, the organizers will be responsible for judging the acceptance of submissions and may reject works that contain expressions of anti-human rights or defamation of specific individuals or nations. However, we look forward to receiving diverse works based on your free-spirited and creative ideas.
In addition, this exhibition is not only an online gallery to display the artwork, but also functions as a ‘database’ of artwork. Unless the executive committee determines it to be ‘exceptional commercial use’, submitted works will continue to be used free of charge to expand manga culture, for which we thank you in advance for your understanding.
And finally, this exhibition is open to anyone from all over the world, regardless of nationality or age, and inclusive of both professionals and amateur artists. Please take this opportunity to send us your work with ‘manga fever’. We organizers are looking forward to hearing from you.
Manga Pandemic Web Exhibition 2023 Executive Committee
Examples by Shiriagari Kotobuki
［ 変異 ］パンデミック 2023.10.3
［ 日常 ］パンデミック 2023.10.3
［ 4年目のコロナ ］パンデミック 2023.10.3
［ そなえよ!! ］パンデミック 2023.10.3
［ パトロンの事情 ］平和 2023.10.3
［ 国旗 ］平和 2023.10.3
［ あけてはいけないもの ］平和 2023.10.3
［ 巨大ブラックホール ］平和 2023.10.3
［ 平和 ］平和 2023.10.3
［ 人類の限界？ ］平和 2023.10.3
Exhibition advisors: Shiriagari Kotobuki (manga artist) / Anzai Hajime (illustrator)
Logo design: Anzai Hajime / Sakamoto Shiho
Illustration: Shiriagari Kotobuki