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SugiPop: A Survey of Manga’s Enormous Influence

October 15th, 2010 · No Comments


Five years ago if you’d told me I’d be writing about Japanese comics I would have laughed out loud. I’ve never been into graphic novels and wasn’t aware of the overlap with contemporary art until a few years ago. Little by little I started to realize that comic-influenced art went way beyond geeky fanboy culture. The turning point for me was seeing these influences in the work of many female artists I grew to love, especially Audrey Kawasaki, Saelee Oh, APAK, Lisa Marie Godfrey, Ashley G and Andrea Kang.

So I tip my hat to LeBasse Projects and Portsmouth Museum of Art for exploring the wide influence of Anime and Magna culture in SugiPop! The Influence of Anime and Manga on Contemporary Art. The exhibit features 30 contemporary artists including Japanese heavyweights Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara and LeBasse regulars such as Morgan Slade and Andrew Hem.

Curious about the term SugiPop? (Google will try to convince you you’re actually looking for “SugarPop.”) From the press release: “Sugi, the Japanese word for ‘too much,’ represents the extreme characteristics of Japanese manga and anime, which have merged with the American phenomenon of Pop, to become SugiPOP – a blend of Japanese and American contemporary art shaped and defined by over-the-top pop.”



Images from daily Du Jour and Arrested Motion.