Janette Toral

Realities: Manga, Japanese Comics, and where is Filipino Komiks?

In Home on September 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Last Wednesday, I decided to take a break out of my normal work-at-home schedule to visit museums and check out their offerings as part of the Zero-In Art Festival.

One stop I made on this day was the Ayala Museum to check out Manga Realities: Exploring the Art of Japanese Comics.


My appreciation of the exhibit is a bit limited as the art work shown, most of it, I am not aware of. Although I have my dose of manga and anime, mostly captured on film.

I think I may have been visiting the Lopez Museum too much as the Ayala Museum exhibit made me wanting – of seeing a nationalist side to it. In the last Zero-In: Periphery where they featured ceramic sculptures from all over Asia, even though I was not able to visit it, I got the impression that there was also a local participation to it based on photos gathered.

As I reflect on all the Japanese Comics materials in the exhibit, I was at awe on the quality of work. Was even excited when I uploaded the photos for was certain that friends will check it out.

But as I write this blog post now and reflect on the exhibit, I can’t help but feel sad and ask why Filipino Comics was not put in paralled on that exhibit to provide an enriching cultural perspective. I think there are enough materials from events like Komikon that can be featured. It can be from the perspective of Japanese-Filipino collaboration or how Japanese comics have influenced modern day Filipino comics by showing samples of work in this area. 

Or is that the intent of the curator? To make us think that amidst all the ooh aahh on Japanese Comics, you will ask where is Filipino Comics? Is it lost? Is it gone? Is it forgotten?

A lot of the young people I encounter today who are interested in drawing comics – usually draw Manga or Japanese Comics style. Now it makes me ponder – where is Filipino Comics going? Will the likes of Darna Lives be just a pigment of my imagination?

Will we just use comics for our personal intentions – to satisfy an agenda? Once done, we hardly care where it will go. I hope not.



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