Henshin (変 身) is the Japanese word for "transformation". It literally means "to change or transform the body" and is a concept expressed in a peculiar way in the world of manga, anime and live action movies. When a character transforms into a superhero he becomes a Henshin Hero (変 身 ヒ ー ロ ー) and will have his own Henshin Call, a reminder, a slogan to show off before the transformation. From pure entertainment to the most complex narrative interweaving, the concept of transformation in Japanese culture has deep roots and is based on the principle of reconsidering one's own canons, in a repetition that always seems the same, but at the same time is changeable, creative, revolutionary. The exhibited works represent research in this sense. As on the wall of an izakaya of the Shōwa era (1926/1989), in a climate of post-war reconstruction, we find the portrait photos of Barbara Barberis that immortalize the steel giants, the most significant Super Robots of the Golden Age of Japanese science fiction ( 1963/1978). Powerful humanized robots, immortalized in the canonical portraits of the 1960s, as memories of an unforgettable, mythological bygone era. Through the camera, the robot transforms itself. From manga, to animation, to games to become an icon. Close to the frames we find Christian Colombo's 3D creations, a work dedicated to the helmets of the famous Super Robots pilots. Human beings who, wearing the mask / helmet can become heroes. Helmets that are reminiscent of ancient armor and which today are transformed into design objects, but which carry with them the legacy and emotions of a generation. The bestial mask of Tiger Mask, a true Showa hero, is instead positioned next to the Leonine one of Golion, following an iconography that starts from the tribal tradition and is transformed to the present day. The tiger becomes a hero, man becomes a tiger. Lions become one big robot with a human face. We live in difficult times, of transformation and great uncertainty. When this happens, we have always sought help and comfort in the human dimension of our heroes.
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