Film back­drops

World build­ing Tra­di­tion­ally painted back­ground il­lus­tra­tions from clas­sic sci-fi anime films take cen­tre stage in this new ex­hi­bi­tion, based in Lon­don

ImagineFX - - Editor’s Letter -

Feast on the stun­ning hand-painted back­drops to the orig­i­nal Ghost in the Shell film, on show in Lon­don.

“With the Hol­ly­wood ver­sion of Ghost in the Shell at the cin­ema,” says Ste­fan Rieke­les, the cu­ra­tor be­hind Anime Ar­chi­tec­ture: Back­grounds of Ja­pan, “it’s a great time to have a look at the orig­i­nal art­work that laid the foun­da­tion for this re­make.”

Tak­ing place at Lon­don’s House of Il­lus­tra­tion, this per­fectly timed ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plores the back­ground paint­ings and draw­ings from in­flu­en­tial anime films, in­clud­ing 1995’s Ghost in the Shell, Pat­la­bor: The Movie, and 2001’s Me­trop­o­lis. The art on show will in­clude the wa­ter­colours of Hiro­masa Ogura, and the in­tri­cate pen­cil draw­ings of Takashi Watabe.

The UK ex­hi­bi­tion is the first of its kind, and is the out­come of a longer re­search pro­ject into Ja­panese an­i­ma­tion. “From the be­gin­ning I was fas­ci­nated by the back­ground il­lus­tra­tions,” Ste­fan ex­plains. “These works present large parts of the world view of the film. Some are worked out in great de­tail, yet each one is only vis­i­ble for a few sec­onds.”

By strip­ping away the char­ac­ters and the plot, this is a rare chance for these back­ground il­lus­tra­tions to get the full at­ten­tion they de­serve. “We present scenes that are tran­quil – here and there al­most pic­turesque – drawn by hand with pen­cil and wa­ter­colours on pa­per,” says Ste­fan. “It’s the sheer beauty of these il­lus­tra­tions that we’ll be cel­e­brat­ing in this ex­hi­bi­tion.”

Anime Ar­chi­tec­ture: Back­grounds of Ja­pan, runs from 26 May to 10 Septem­ber. You can find out more about the ex­hi­bi­tion by visit­ing www.house­ofil­lus­tra­tion.org.uk.

Wa­ter­colour art by Hiro­masa Ogura, who painted the three back­grounds shown here for 1995’s Ghost in the Shell. Ghost in the Shell’s di­rec­tor, Mamoru Oshii, de­scribed the Asian megac­i­ties as “ex­otic”.

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