In 2006, due to the popularity and unique art style of his works, Inoue Takehiko was invited to expose his art at the Ueno Royal Museum in Tokyo. He made over 140 gigantic paintings based on Vagabond for this huge event, which took 6 months of preparations for him and everyone involved. The paintings are not, however, only to show off his artwork; they are like big panels that make a story featuring an old Musashi, serving as an epilogue to Vagabond; the story is set in Reigando cave, the place of Musashi's death. Some of the posters are like huge versions of the pages we usually read on the manga (with dialogues), but the majority of the ones we can find pictures of on the internet are sumi-e paintings. The exhibition was held in June 2008, and was a huge success. In fact, so many people were left without tickets that another exhibition happened in 2009, and now there's a new date schelduled for 2010.
As Griffith told me, it's amazing how we lack information on these exhibitions, so if anyone knows details or new info about them, please share with us.
The first exhibit was so successful that most people couldn't get tickets to see it.
The organizers of the first exhibition released two books that served as catalogues. They feature pictures of all the paintings and an extensive documentary of how everything was made. You can read the exhibit's paintings' official translation, located on The LAST Manga Exhibition complete catalogue here, courtesy of Griffith. There are major spoilers.
There is also a documentary DVD about it.
From one of the cataloguesInoue has been rolling the offer over in his mind for six months. “What could I do in a museum ? Nothing hit me right away. I didn’t want to just line up my illustrations for people to look at. If I was going to do it, I wanted to do something challenging.”
Then one afternoon, Inoue says, “What if Musashi dies?” Spring was just around the corner.
Official website: http://flow-er.co.jp/ueno/
In 2009, a second exhibition was held at the Contemporary Art Museum, in Kumamoto city (which is the place of Musashi's death) from April to June. A new chance for everyone to see the amazing paintings.
Kumamoto's Contemporary Art Museum
Official website: http://flow-er.co.jp/kumamoto/
From Inoue's October 1st journal entryPreparations are finally about to start for "The Last Manga Exhibition (Osaka version)".
Again, I've got new artwork and visual posters to draw, and there are many other things to do to build an atmosphere fitting for Osaka. It's fun, and there's a lot of pressure, but I think the fun factor wins.
Thinking back on the reactions of the people in Ueno and Kumamoto makes a little bit of work that much easier to deal with.
It starts January 2nd, 2010. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone again.
Official website: http://www.flow-er.co.jp/osaka/
This is the only place I found with the catalogues for sale: http://halcyonrealms.com/art/inoue-takehiko-the-last-manga-exhibition-complete-catalogue/ (with tons of pictures and more info on the 2008 version of the exhibition). I don't know how spoiler-sensitive you guys are, but keep in mind that the pictures might be considered spoilers to some, the exhibition's theme being what it is. It almost serves as an epilogue to Vagabond, I suppose.
That's it for now! I'll keep updating this thread as we gather more info.
In this thread there is discussion on the contents of the exhibit, which may be considered spoilers even to those who are following the recent episodes.