Lexus cars celebrated the Japanese heritage of the brand by commissioning a trio of Japanese manga artists to celebrate the spirit of Lexus through their work. Maga or the Japanese version of comic book graphic design is highly enjoyed by both kids and adults in Japan. Lexus commissioned three manga artists to depict Lexus cars in comic book style and thus depict the strong influence of Japanese traditions and aesthetics on Lexus cars. Lexus used these paintings to depict the brand’s strong link to Japanese tradition and culture and displayed these works at a gala event.
There has been a lot of focus on manga in the UK this summer. The British Museum hosted the largest exhibition of manga that has been seen outside Japan, and Japan House in London presented a show dedicated to the work of Urasawa Naoki, one of the leading figures in the world of manga.
The three artists Lexus engaged for its project were Yishan Li, Timothy Kong and Daniel Atanasov. Their works featured the new UX compact SUV, ES saloon and LC coupe.
Yishan Li is a self-taught artist. Her work has been featured internationally in over 30 comic books. Her take on the UX was inspired by the car’s “New Horizons” tagline and depicted a woman sitting on her car on the beach, indicating that she was relaxing after completing a big creative project. According to her, the most challenging aspect of the work was giving an accurate picture of the car as it had so many precise curves and design elements. She felt that the car was a lot tougher to capture accurately when compared to anime characters.
Timothy Kong’s work blends manga with Japanese anime or animated movies in addition to western influences from Old Masters. The outcome of his work was a scene in which a Lexus ES saloon is being driven away fast from a fire-breathing dragon.
Kong explained that he opted for a dragon to highlight the brave design of Lexus cars. Dragons are considered to be incredibly powerful and proud creatures in Japanese culture as they represent courage and strength, and only someone who is incredibly brave would dare to take on a dragon.
Daniel Atanasov was born in Bulgaria but was fascinated by anime animated films from the time he was a child. He has a background in classical art and went on to explore and work in a form of manga which focuses on sci-fi, adventure and martial arts. His painting depicts a scarlet Lexus LC coupe with a warrior figure on its roof, set against the backdrop of an exploding city skyline.
Said Atanasov, “This was the first time I had been asked to draw a real car within a piece and make it look like part of a fictional story. The car itself is an autonomous being, but at the same time has a symbiotic relationship with the man. That’s why there is no driver behind the wheel; the car is intelligent, self-driving and reliable.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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