The Inaugural Robert Sainsbury Lecture entitled, ‘Art in a Global Perspective' will be given by Neil MacGregor and will relate to the British Museum and Sainsbury Centre collections. The event marks the formal launch of the Sainsbury Institute for Art (SIfA), a new venture based at the Sainsbury Centre. MacGregor has been the director of the British Museum since 2002 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of East Anglia (UEA) in 2009.
This vibrant exhibition offers the chance to encounter characters from television, computer games and comics. Many have become much loved household names around the world.
Kingdom of Characters comes to the Sainsbury Centre following displays in Manila and Sydney. Providing an overview of manga and anime through the second half of the 20th century, the exhibition provides a unique insight into this cultural phenomenon.
It will also give fans the chance to come face-to-face with some of their favourite characters, including humansized Ultraman, Pikachu and a Hello Kitty ‘skipping' through the gallery.
As well as 3D characters, the exhibition includes graphic illustrations and even a room-set of a teenager's Hello Kitty bedroom. The set has also been specially designed by the Sainsbury Centre to allow younger visitors the chance to peep into the room, which is decorated with merchandise featuring Kitty in her many manifestations, from duvetcover to alarm clock. Anime screenings and graphic illustrations are included in the exhibition and create a context for the visiting characters.
The exhibition asks some thought-provoking questions about what characters are, why they are so popular and how they have become central to everyday life within contemporary Japanese society. The exhibition also considers ideas such as the importance of characters as design products.