Mezuzah Blog

Jewish Manga Art

The beauty of severity

The beauty of severity is a monographic exhibition of paintings by Thomas Lay, a western mangaka, who was an apprentice and first assistant of Yumiko Igarashi, the famous authoress of Candy Candy.

The collection includes paintings representing typical images from the Jewish iconography in the manga style and technique. For about forty years, Manga have played a fundamental role in disseminating the spirit of the Japanese culture in the Western World, particularly in Italy where they are very successful and have inspired many local artists. Jewish culture, rooted in Italy for ages, expresses itself in Lay’s works, through the Japanese art’s aesthetics and narrative style.

Thus, a unique and evocative bond links the two cultures, so full of history and tradition. The two people symbolically combine in brotherhood and mutual respect.

Thomas Lay started drawing professionally at the age of 25, in Japan, in the study of Yumiko Igarashi, Candy Candy and Georgie’s author. . . .

After studying at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Paris, Lay decided to follow his first great love and started a training path, which took him to Tokyo where he succeeded entering Igarashis’s team.

At present Lay switches from his job as an interpreter from Japanese to graphic design and draws inspiration from the Jewish Culture, to which this first collection is dedicated: “as a Jew I consider really significant and innovative representing our millenary culture through a topical and popular graphic language like the Manga’s universally recognized”. Lay blends the Japanese and the Jewish cultures so full of  unchanged traditions and so similar in many ways.


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