Lingua Comica

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) launched an annual series of projects on comics and graphic novels in 2006. Three comics projects have since been completed and all participants and facilitators from the past programmes presented in Singapore, London and Kyoto are invited to apply for the 2009 collaborative follow-up projects.

The first edition of the Asia-Europe Comics Projects, held in Singapore, aimed to promote collaboration and discovery between Asians and Europeans in the field of comics through aplatform where their common concerns and aspirations were brought together. Twelve comic artists and two facilitators took part in the project.

ASEF continued its role in this field the following year and partnered with COMICA – the London international comics festival in United Kingdom for a project focusing on graphic novels in Asia and Europe. It was then that the series was dubbed LINGUA COMICA. The 2007 edition continued to build new in-roads to promote awareness, mutual understanding and dialogue on issues of common interest to Asia and Europe. The project was organised in two phases, firstly as an art-making programme called the Asia-Europe Collaboratory which ran for 6 weeks via an online platform and subsequently as an event in London which had workshops, panel discussions and cultural visits from 20-24 October. Seven Asia-Europe pairs of comics artists collaborated to experiment and develop works together, mentored by up to seven resource people.

Last year saw the hosting of LINGUA COMICA 3 by Kyoto International Manga Museum (MM) in Japan. MM was created from a joint initiative by Kyoto’s city government and the Kyoto Seika University in 2006. The project had three phases. Phase 1 focused on artistic collaboration and experimentation in the form of the online Asia-Europe Collaboratory platform for two months starting from 1 September. It was then followed by an artist residency programme in Kyoto which included artistic collaboration, workshops and public events from 8-16 November. The final phase was an exhibition of the newly produced Asia-Europe comics at the MM from 15 November-12 January 2009. Fourteen artists and 5 facilitators participated in the 2008 project.

After 3 years of stimulating collaboration which paved the way for new concepts and development in comics, Asia-Europe Foundation called all participants and facilitators of the three Asia-Europe comics projects to apply for the collaborative follow-up projects. This initiative will help facilitate continuity and connectedness amongst its comics series’ alumni.


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