Manga-Geschichten über Kamelien

Manga stories about camellias

Stephen Utick, Vice-President of the ICS, asked various artists to design camellia flowers in the form of manga. It is a Japanese comic form that has existed since the 12th century and has fascinated young people and adults worldwide since the 1990s.

We want to use this highly codified Japanese imagery to tell stories about camellias that tell of their symbolism and history.

"Alba Plena", which was the first fully double camellia to arrive in Europe in 1792, is shown here as a manga. Below she introduces herself and tells us garden stories from her large camellia family:

My name is 白宝塔 (White Pagoda), although I received the Latin name "Alba Plena" shortly after I sailed on an English East India sailing ship from Guangdong Province in China in 1792. However, I am much older than the modern metropolis of Shenzhen in Guangdong, first mentioned in the Ming Dynasty in 1410.

You see a manga image of me sailing across the South China Sea at sunrise. My beautiful white camellia blossom face even became a symbol of women's suffrage in the 19th century.

I have come to life to tell you many wonderful camellia stories from China and the Far East, many of which have never been heard before!

Here is my first story for you:

Camellias of the Nanzhou Scroll (9th century)

You'll see a fabulous 9th century AD scroll from the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Nanzhou (now Yunnan).

This kingdom lasted from 738 to 937 AD. Although it was not part of China at the time, this kingdom was an admirer of the Tang Dynasty. The scroll depicts the vermilion pavilion of Xi Nu-Nong, the ruling king of Nanzhou.

The courtiers are seen admiring large, 5-meter-tall trees with large red flowers. Given its size, this is undoubtedly my camellia cousin, Camellia reticulata.

A text on the scroll reads: "Two auspicious flower trees stand at the corner of the house. They sprout in all seasons. They are commonly known as "Zo Hoi"

So you see, we camellias have been loved and cultivated for centuries.

I am very proud of this scroll as it is probably one of the first depictions of the camellia in painting.

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