-Taiyo Matsumoto Gallery Photographs-
As soon as I saw the tumbled post (probably from samehat) that Taiyo Matsumoto would be visiting America for the first time and appearing at a convention with a showing of us work, I knew I had to be there. I probably would’ve flown on a plane within the states to see this appearance but fortunately Toronto was pretty much in my backyard of New York making my trip a sure thing.
I became a fan of his work after reading Viz’s first run of ‘Black & White’ or Tekkon Kinkreeto some years ago followed there after by Number 5. While I loved Tekkon, No. 5 really hooked me. The manga aesthetic and tropes I had learned to expect from most Japanese comic artist usually leaves not expecting much else. But here I could see the Moebius influences of a sci-fi dystopian future mixed with this scratchy almost unintentional flow of line work that somehow worked and merged into this epic sprawling masterpiece which for many years I had only read the first two volumes of. Many trips to Book Off and Kinokuniya had me purchasing anything else of his I could find and fortunately most of the rest of Taiyo’s work was scanlated by many fine groups. My own contribution to this effort was supplying the raw scans for a Doraemon one-shot that had been sitting on my shelf for 10 years after I picked up an issue of Comic Beams for a $1 at Book Off or possibly Asahiya before it closed down it’s first New York location?
I was an ardent fan of anime and manga all through the 90’s gobbling up images with words I could barely comprehend and since the 00’s I really only follow two artists religiously Araki Hirohiko (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) and Taiyo Matsumoto despite the fact that scanlation groups and proper companies make it easier than ever to read most manga that exist today.
So yes, I had to make a pilgrimage just to get a sketch (if I was lucky!) and see some original artwork. Gladly there were many signing sessions, the first of which I was on line for, and the gallery of his work at the Japan Foundation really delivered everything I was hoping for.
I arrived at the Japan Foundation on Friday toward the afternoon and there was only 5-10 people throughout the three room exhibit allowing me to take lots of photos with worrying about myself or anyone else jockeying to get up close. I figured my sense of awe from seeing such amazing artwork first hand and all at once would not allow me to properly analyze these works as deeply as I wanted to so I spent possibly more time photographing them as I did just looking at them.
These were shot on a Pentax 645D camera, which is capable of amazing quality at 40megapixels and a bigger than average sensor compared with DSLRs, but is more of a tripod camera. These were all shot handheld and I was still learning to use the camera so I had to crank up the settings to get good shots without aid of a flash.
In retrospect I wish I had photographed every single page in the gallery but my time there was limited that day and I did try to enjoy them at the moment despite what I did end up capturing.
The talks with Matsumoto on Saturday and Sunday moderated by TCAF’s Festival Director Christopher Butcher were amazingly insightful and well thought out. (A lot of what was said in those interviews is duplicated in some of the written interviews on the web that are floating about.) Christopher had read all of Matsumoto’s works and knew which questions to ask to be able to dig below the surface of the stories and artwork. Who hasn’t listened to or watched interviews with artists/musicians/writers/directors that ask questions you already know answers for (simple/softball questions) or are just plain dumb and will knowingly not get a good response out of a person. I didn’t know Sunny was somewhat auto-biographical and it almost seems like an explanation for why Matsumoto looked and sounded so melancholic during the talks those days. Did anyone else notice that to? Maybe it was just shyness?
Well, if you read this far then here’s some technical blather how I processed these photos.
-Shot on a Pentax 645D in RAW mode mostly at 1000 ISO
-imported into lightroom
-white balance adjusted
-some cropping to remove reflections of the surrounding glass
-skewing to make the pages more rectangular if I shot some pages at an angle
-Some photos were turned black and white to reduce file size if the pages were all pencil or ink
-ISO grain reduced and subsequently sharpened.
-Exported to jpeg at 85% quality.
Print em out, make a poster, make some wallpaper and reupload to your page. Just don’t forget to buy his work and support the legit efforts of Viz and anyone else who might release his work!
Will be posting high-res photos I took of the Taiyo Matsumoto Exhibit in Toronto back in May of his amazing artwork. A few images are blurry on account of using a camera I rented that weekend and wasn’t completely familiar with but the ones that are sharp are amazing to look at and study. You can see the penciling, linework, pattern fills, color washes and black marker strokes of every panel.
I’ve been sitting on these RAW files since the day I got back from that trip and only finally gotten around to processing them today. Now it’s just a matter of uploading all 300 megs of these images…
Expect them soon!
Taiyo Matsumoto drawing Black&White: Sketch Video by mckido
Click HERE for Taiyo Matsumoto Interview (English version)
Click HERE for Taiyo Matsumoto Interview (Japanese version)
Click HERE to watch more Mangaka Sketch Video by mckido
Cameraman: Misaki C. Kido
Video Editor: Eric Ignacio
Hayao Miyazaki, Taiyo Matsumoto for “Sketch Travel® Exhibition” in Shibuya
The “Sketch Travel® Exhibition” will be held from June 26th at “8/ CUBE 1,2,3”, located on the 8th floor of Shibuya Hikarie. Free Admission.
At the exhibit, all artworks created by the 71 artists for the project “Sketch Travel® Project” will be on display and sale. Artists such as Hayao Miyazaki, Taiyo Matsumoto, Katsuya Terada and Daisuke Tsutsumi, active in the worlds of anime, manga and picture books are participants. Each artwork is printed specially for the exhibit and is a one and only. The artworks can be purchased on the official online store, and proceeds will be sent to the international NGO “Room to Read,” which promotes literacy throughout the world. The funds from this particular project will be used to build libraries for children in Africa.
By Marie from the Fashion Headline
I finally got to see Taiyo Matsumoto’s exhibition at The Japan Foundation. His line work is amazing, I really wished they had more of his work. But of course nothing is ever enough when its really good. I would recommend people to check out this exhibition If you’re around the area, it will be on display until June 7th.