Inspired by Asia’s emerging megacities, production designers working in Tokyo constructed fictional worlds that reflected an unnervingly real story of ruthless urban development.
This exhibition will feature the backgrounds hand-crafted by Production I.G in Japan for sci-fi anime films including Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor: The Movie and Metropolis, none of which have been seen in the UK before.
Layering disarmingly realistic details with futuristic cityscapes, their creations are a combination of painterly skill and exacting mechanical logic. The result is a set of exquisite pocket-sized artworks, which scale into breathtaking backgrounds on screen.
The exhibition will include work by art director Hiromasa Ogura for Ghost in the Shell, directed in 1995 by Mamoru Oshii and based on a manga series of the same name by Masamune Shirow. Ogura’s art was based on photographs of Hong Kong, and depicts a striking contrast between the colourful chaos of a derelict Chinese town and the cold blue skyscrapers that often loom in the background.
It will also feature drawings by supervising layout artist Takashi Watabe for the 2008 sequel Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, who shows an M.C. Escher-like fascination with pipelines, cables and corners; work from Oshii’s 1989 Patlabor: The Movie; and Rintaro’s 2001 Metropolis, based loosely on the 1949 manga created by Osamu Tezuka, itself inspired by the 1927 German silent film of the same name.
A live-action Hollywood remake of Ghost in the Shell is scheduled for release in spring 2017, staring Scarlett Johansson.
In association with Les Jardins des Pilotes, Berlin.
Buy exhibition tickets below – one ticket covers admission to all House of Illustration exhibitions that are open on the day.