Anime Architecture at House of Illustration, London

2 Granary Square, King’s Cross London N1C 4BH

 

“These hand-drawn pieces offer meticulous artificial wonderlands” – Financial Times

 

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Image above: Background illustration for Ghost in the Shell (1995), cut 477, watercolour on paper and acrylic on transparent film, 270 × 390 mm, Illustrator: Hiromasa Ogura, Copyright: © 1995 Shirow Masamune / KODANSHA · BANDAI VISUAL · MANGA ENTERTAINMENT Ltd.

 

After it’s premiere at the Tchoban Foundation Berlin (23.7. – 16.10.2016) we are proud to present the UK’s first ever exhibition of architectural backdrops from classic anime films. It features over 100 exquisite technical drawings and watercolour illustrations from some of the most influential productions in the genre’s 1990s heyday, including Production I.G’s artwork for Ghost in the Shell. The artists were tasked with creating a universe for the director. Their fictional worlds reflected real-life concerns over ruthless urban development and erosion of identity, mirroring the films’ narratives and giving the backgrounds a crucial role to play. Their work has had a defining influence on the style of anime we think of as typical today.

The show includes Hiromasa Ogura’s watercolour paintings for Ghost in the Shell, an anime epic that informed pioneering sci-fi works such as The Matrix and Avatar. Inspired by Asia’s emerging megacities and based on photographs of Hong Kong, Ogura’s work depicts the striking contrast between a derelict Chinese town and looming, faceless skyscrapers.Takashi Watabe’s meticulously realistic style has become a hallmark of Japanese anime films as a whole. We show his pencil drawings for 2008’s sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, as well as work from Patlabor: The Movie (1989) and Metropolis (2001), by Mamoru Oshii and Atsushi Takeuchi.

Since the success of Akira (1988) and Ghost in the Shell, Japanese anime films have been at the heart of global pop culture. A live action remake of Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett Johansson was released on 31 March 2017.

Read more at the website of House of Illustration here.

Views of the exhibition

All images courtesy of House of Illustration 2017 (c) Paul Grover

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