In drawings for the films Patlabor (1989), Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence (2004), the megalopolis skyline is seen to be crushing in on what remains of traditional wooden housing. Industrial sites with endless labyrinths of cables and piping and utopian science-fiction constructions form backdrops for the dynamic film plots. Since the films Akira (1988) and Ghost in the Shell (1995), Japanese anime has secured its place in international pop culture, attracting a growing public in Europe.
July 23, 2016 – October 16, 2016
Tchoban Foundation. Museum for Architectural Drawing
Christinenstraße 18a, 10119 Berlin
The exhibition presents works by Hiromasa Ogura (art director), Mamoru Oshii (director), Atsushi Takeuchi (layout) and Takashi Watabe (layout).
These artists belong to a generation of illustrators who drew animation films almost only by hand. Although today computer graphics are additionally used across all areas of production, paper, pencil and brush remain their essential tools. Thanks to their artistic craftsmanship, the works are finished with an intricate attention to detail and high quality drafting.
The exhibited works demonstrate the four stages in the creative process of developing a background image: setting, image board, layout and background. The initial setting is a sketch of the scene, generally in pencil, defining the architecture, landscape and functionality of moving elements. Secondly, the art director defines the colour palette in an image board for the scene. Thirdly, the layout is a preliminary drawing with precise specifications of the position of objects and figures as well as reference to camera position and movement. Finally, based on the layout, the coloured background illustration is completed. The settings, image boards and layouts are shown here in a separate room. The background plates are arranged so that their relation to the other stages of development can easily be discerned.
It is often difficult to gain permission to publicly display such works as the artists are mostly employed, giving up their rights to the production studios. Furthermore, the drawings are part of studio daily life in which everything is channelled towards the final result – the finished film – and thus are not greatly valued. Thanks to the artists’ own archives, these fantastic drawings have been preserved. Alongside the presentation of the fascinating drawn landscapes, the visitor gains a glimpse into the creative process of anime films.
The exhibition is curated by Stefan Riekeles (Les Jardins des Pilotes) and Nadejda Bartels (Tchoban Foundation).