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View of the Games room in the Play Gallery at Young V&A. Image by Picture Plane (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London
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Young V&A reveals 2023 opening date and first exhibition

Image: View of the Games room in the Play Gallery at Young V&A. Image by Picture Plane (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

From Minecraft to Manga, London’s former Museum of Childhood will open its redeveloped home and inaugural exhibition in just a few months

Young V&A, the former V&A Museum of Childhood, has revealed it will open its doors on Saturday 1 July 2023, alongside new details of what visitors can expect from its first exhibition.

The inaugural ‘Japan: Myths to Manga’ exhibition begins on 14th October 2023, three months after the £13m capital project is revealed to the public.

The exhibition will feature a series of sensory interactives and activities from films such as My Neighbour Totoro and Ponyo, a manga-inspired coat by Comme des Garçons, a role-playing browser game created by Google, sculptures by Keita Miyazaki and a moving installation of 1,000 cranes – a symbol of remembrance from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan.

A selection of green objects - ranging from a 17th Century Spanish Necklace to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Donatello, 1989. Being packed ready to move into Young V&A’s Play Gallery. © Jamie Stoker

The opening follows a three-year transformation which it says has been designed collaboratively with children. The design of its three galleries, Play, Imagine and Design, have also been informed by research into early years’ development.

Newly revealed details about the project include an interactive Minecraft installation in the Play Gallery’s game design space, ‘The Arcade’. Built by Blockworks with support from Minecraft’s creators Mojang and Microsoft, it begins in a recreation of Young V&A’s Town Square, before taking visitors through worlds created by Minecraft players across the globe.

Being packed ready to move into The Factory within Young V&A’s Design Gallery. © Jamie Stoker Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London

New murals by street artist Mark Malarko have been added, inspired by creative workshops with children at Weavers Adventure Playground, nearby Young V&A.

Also announced is a co-curated display of new portraits by photographer Rehan Jamil. ‘This Is Me,’ will see young people expressing what creativity means to them, set alongside self-portraits by artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman, illustrators Dapo Adeola and Quentin Blake, actor Kenneth Branagh, and artist and entrepreneur Linda McCartney.

The Design gallery will include works by climate activist Greta Thunberg, prints designed by The Suffrage Atelier, and artwork from the Extinction Rebellion Families Group.

Once open, Young V&A will also showcase 2,000 works from the V&A’s collection of art, design, and performance.