Rarely-seen historical concept arts and developmental sketches of young Gainax members – animation legends Hiroyuki Yamaga, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Maeda Mahiro and Hideaki Anno – will be showcased in an unprecedented exhibition on 19 March in Singapore. Through 60–80 conceptual artworks, sketches, coloured celluloid drawings and handwritten notes, visitors are offered insight into the creative and interdisciplinary energy that went into Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987) – a highly ambitious sci-fi film for its time that gained critical acclaim as Gainax’s cinematic debut. Gainax would go on to gain international fame for producing the classic Evangelion series.
This exhibition, A World Is Born: Emerging Arts & Designs in 1980s Japanese Animation, is part of a series of activities earmarked within a five-year Memorandum of Understanding signed between LASALLE College of the Arts (‘LASALLE’) and Niigata University (‘NU’) that focuses on archiving methods and production systems of animation.
“Preservation of animation history is critical because there is a legacy from which we can review why certain modern methods are employed and refine these practices in order to further the standards of the industry. Pre-production materials allow us to analyse the aesthetics of distinguished artists, understand important concepts within animation such as world-building, and better our practice. But for these to occur, archival is a necessary first step. This joint effort with Niigata University demonstrates our commitment to nurture the next generation of animators,” said Chris Shaw, Head of LASALLE’s Puttnam School of Film & Animation.
Collectively housed under the Animation Archiving Project, the first part of the MOU’s vision come to life in an upcoming Archiving Popular Culture symposium. Happening on 18 March at LASALLE, researchers, academics, curators, librarians, collectors, and industry personnel convene to discuss the archival of creative materials, from acquiring and cataloguing, to preserving and digitising.
As the project leader, Dr Gan Sheuo Hui from LASALLE shared, “The Animation Archiving Project enables researchers and students to study and contextualise media arts, specifically the production processes and its structures, which otherwise will be just concealed within a final work. This setting allows us to avoid certain established discourses or canon by looking at the artefacts. It also provides glimpses into how the available technology affected creators in their creation process.”
A World Is Born: Emerging Arts & Designs in 1980s Japanese Animation is the continued culmination of the MOU’s vision. Director Hiroyuki Yamaga, President of Gainax, will introduce the exhibition on opening night. Also on display are works by current LASALLE BA(Hons) Animation Art students who went on an exchange trip with NU last November, where they attended seminars with local Japanese students, and visited prominent animation studios such as TMS Studio, I.G. Production and Toei Animation to learn about their workflow.
The DECK will feature works by Gainax while the Ngee Ann Kongsi Library will feature works by BA(Hons) Animation Arts students.
Exhibition opening: Mon 19 March 2018, 7:00pm
DECK, 120A Prinsep Street, Singapore
Gallery Hours: 12:00pm – 7:00pm, Tue to Sat
12:00pm – 5:00pm, Sun
Closed on Mon and public holidays
Ngee Ann Kongsi Library, LASALLE College of the Arts, Block F Level 4, 1 McNally St, Singapore
Library Hours: 8:00am – 8:00pm, Mon to Thu
8:00am – 6:00pm, Fri; 11:00am – 4:00pm, Sat
Closed on Sun and public holidays
When: 19 - 31 Mar 2018,