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Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan exhibition comes to London

Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan exhibition comes to London
Andy Hanley
Author: Andy Hanley

Andy has been writing for UK Anime since 2006, and was the site's editor-in-chief until August 2017.  Contrary to popular belief, Andy is not actually a robot.


When we talk about anime, we probably don't always give due weight to its backgrounds - the all-important images that give every series or film a sense of place and atmosphere.

Thankfully, this vital element of the art form is the subject of celebration in London starting later this month, as the city's House of Illustration hosts a show entitled Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan.

The exhibition will feature artwork from the likes of the original Ghost in the Shell theatrical film and more in a similar vein, as the description from the official web site expounds upon:

This is the UK’s first ever exhibition of handmade background illustrations for classic sci-fi anime films. It will feature drawings and paintings from some of the most influential productions in the genre’s 1990s heyday, including Production I.G’s phenomenally influential 1995 film Ghost in the Shell.

This collection of artists, who share an interest in presenting convincing visions of future worlds, have had a defining influence on the style of anime we think of as typical today.

The show will include 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 ruthless urban development.

Pencil drawings by Takashi Watabe – one of the most important Japanese illustrators of his generation – for 2008’s sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence will also feature. His meticulously realistic style has become a hallmark of Japanese anime films as a whole.

The exhibition will also include work from Patlabor: The Movie (1989) and Metropolis (2001), by Mamoru Oshii and Atsushi Takeuchi.

The show runs from Friday, 26th May through to Sunday, 10th September 2017 - tickets cost £7.50 for adults and £5 for concessions.

For more information and to book tickets, head over to the House of Illustration web site.

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