Production I.G have produced many of the groundbreaking anime features of the last two decades, including diverse titles such as Patlabor 2: The Movie (1993), Ghost in the Shell (1995), Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999), Blood: The Last Vampire (2000), Innocence: Ghost in the Shell (2004) and The Sky Crawlers (2008). The production company are also credited with creating the anime sequence in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and 'Crossfire', the short feature in Batman: Gotham Knight (2008).
The Japanese anime production company, which was founded in 1987 by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, has continued to be at the forefront of creating innovative digital animation techniques. While Production I.G often combine hand-drawn animation with computer generated visuals, there are several advancements the production company are known to implement whilst in pre-production, production and post-production, including digital compositing, digital storyboards, digital colourgrading and digital and analogue special effects.This exhibition includes several examples of these many techniques, including various storyboards, backgrounds and digital images.
As the title of the exhibition suggests, the exhibition not only reveals the painstaking animation process, but also looks at the thematic concerns of modern anime. The key theme of the exhibition is 'ultra-realistic fantasy,' a term which references not only how modern anime functions similar to a live-action motion picture but also the 'reality' within an anime world. Patrick Drazen author of Anime Explosion!, noted "[Through] anime ... Japan [is] talking directly to itself, reinforcing it's cultural myths and preferred modes of behaviour(viii). Narratives in anime are often concerned with questioning the role of war and technological advancement, as well as the role of religion and spirituality in modern life.
Also at the RMIT Gallery is a similarly themed exhibition entitled "JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters" which explores popular animated characters in Japan, for example Hello Kitty, Astro Boy, Pikachu, Doraemon and many more. This exhibition, which also closes on March 19, is accompanied by the public lecture "Encounters with Japanese Popular Culture" with Carolyn Stevens, Associate Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Melbourne. This one-hour event will begin at midday on Wednesday 9 March.
Both these public programs are free, for bookings contact the RMIT Gallery on 9925 1717.
Opening hours of the RMIT Gallery are: Monday – Friday: 11 am - 5 pm Saturday: 12 pm - 5 pm Closed public holidays and Sundays.
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