London, 30 July 2012 – A new seven part series on BBC World News, Collaboration Culture pairs fourteen creative and celebrated figures from the worlds of fashion, dance, music, food and art and invites them to collaborate on a new, innovative project. In the final episode of the series, scheduled to air on 11th August, British artist David Shrigley travels from Glasgow to Tokyo to collaborate with Japanese illustrator Teresa Chiba on a unique comic book.
Glasgow-based animator and illustrator David Shrigley is one of the best-loved artists working in Britain today. He’s most famous for his brilliantly funny, very simple line drawings, done deliberately ‘badly’, which tell stories about the absurdities of daily life and the curiosities of human relationships. Shrigley recently had a major retrospective at the Hayward Gallery in London, at which he showed sculpture, painting, photography and animated films alongside his drawings, but it’s his witty cartoons and illustrations that have made him such a hugely popular figure in the UK’s cultural scene. His work, with its distinctive combination of jokes and insightful commentary, is instantly recognisable, and can be found on greetings cards, in books and magazines, as well as in galleries.
Teresa Chiba is a highly talented illustrator and graphic artist working in Tokyo. Best known for her powerful watercolour depictions of women inspired by the Japanese kabuki theatre tradition, Chiba has exhibited nationally and internationally, and this year has been included in the competitive annual Sakura Exhibition, a touring show introducing Japanese artists to a worldwide audience. She also creates illustrations and digital graphic designs under her brand name, Production_Genmu, which frequently grace the pages of books and websites, as well as fronting advertising campaigns.
For this programme, Shrigley travels to Tokyo, the home of manga cartoons and comic books, for the first time. He and Chiba create 100 hand-signed copies of a little comic book, composed of drawings made together over a period of two days in the city. These little books, which would be coveted by Shrigley’s many fans in the UK, and undoubtedly similarly cherished by the fans of Chiba’s work, are then handed out for free on the streets of Tokyo on the artists’ last day together.
On working with David Shrigley, Teresa Chiba said: “I enjoyed it so much. David’s very funny and he’s very gentle and he has a lot of jokes. He’s a very unique person. I like his drawings and I like his ideas.”
Speaking at the end of the collaboration, David Shrigley said: “I think that Teresa is a lot better at drawing than I am. So that’s quite a good mix in a way because she has more graphics skills and I suppose my work is a little bit more about sensibility or sense of humour. I think we were quite simpatico. It was very easy and a lot of fun to work together, it wasn’t difficult at all.”
Collaboration Culture, broadcast in association with Emirates, airs weekly on BBC World News on Saturdays at 00:30; 07:30, and Sundays at 12:30; 18:30 (all times GMT).