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Three questions for Catherine Alestchenkoff, Cultural Events Director at the Grimaldi Forum Monaco


"Kyoto Tokyo: from the Samurai to the Mangas" - what is behind this journey?

The "Kyoto-Tokyo: from the Samurai to the Mangas” exhibition offers an overview spanning the last nine centuries of history on this group of islands. It’s an invitation to travel from the 8th century to the present, from Kyoto to Tokyo, on the historic Tokaido Road linking the former capital to the new one, today a key player in modern life.
To understand and renew the threads and connections which endure between heritage and modern spheres of influence, we have developed the exhibition along two lines: a historic theme following the chronological development of Kyoto, Edo, Tokaido and Tokyo, and a transverse theme – by set designer Bruno Moinard – introducing the dynamic of a correlation between the Samurai world and the universe of the manga.

You define this exhibition as being “trans-generational” – why?

Japan is an incredibly modern place that affects us all whether you are talking about IT, cars, video, robots or manga. The country is fascinating and there is nowhere else in the world where such a wide variety of traditions and ancestral customs coexist with such a futuristic approach and spirit of the avant-garde! It is undoubtedly the reason why Japan interests two such distinct generations, as represented by the aficionados of traditional culture and the younger manga and video game enthusiasts.
The mysteries surrounding this civilisation are behind our intention to reveal it, and make it more accessible to everyone, by paying tribute to the country this summer for our tenth anniversary.

What are the cornerstones of the exhibition?

After a search lasting nearly two years, we have collected over 600 items to illustrate this unusual theme, including top quality works classified as “important cultural property” and rarely exhibited in the West. For example, we have on loan a Fudomyo (11th century) masterpiece of monumental Buddhist sculpture over 2 m high, from the National Museum in Tokyo, and a Buddha (the seated Amida Nyörai, also 11th century) from the Kyoto National Museum collection.
The Guimet Museum, our exhibition partner has loaned us a number of prints (including some signed by the Master Hiroshige), as well as photo albums restored for the occasion illustrating the Tokaido Road. Through contacts with the legendary manga animation studios we have been able to paint a city where (to pick up on a phrase of our commissioner Jean-Paul Desroches) “even futurism is expected to be exceeded.”

"Kyoto-Tokyo, des Samouraïs aux Mangas"

From 14th july to 12th september every day, 10h - 20h (Thursday until 22h), Espace Ravel du Grimaldi Forum Monaco :

More information : Grimaldi Forum

Rens: +377 99 99 30 00
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