The cultural export of Japanese animation, although increasingly varied, is still only a small slice of this sophisticated art form. Japan Fantastic: Before and Beyond Anime explores the origins of animation in Japan from the silent era through to the 1940s, and the work of contemporary independent animators.
Before Anime showcases pioneers including Noburo Ofuji and Kenzou Masaoka and features extraordinary examples of paper-cut techniques, as well works showing the birth of the anime aesthetic that is familiar to audiences today. Beyond Anime profiles four animators working independently of the large Japanese studio system - Kihachiro Kawamoto, Keita Kurosaka, Tomoyasu Murata and Koji Yamamura. Kihachiro Kawamoto, a celebrated puppet animator, incorporates spiritual themes of devotion, inner tranquillity and the possibility of enlightenment into his exquisitely detailed animation works. Keita Kurosaka uses photographs and photocopies to present surreal views of contemporary life. Tomoyasu Murata, an artist who works in a variety of media, is best known for his claymation series The Road, a meditation on the nature of memory and loss. Oscar nominee Koji Yamamura, fills his animations with humour, visual metaphor and subtle social commentary.
Most of the films in Japan Fantastic: Before and Beyond Anime have had only limited screenings outside of Japan.
Japan Fantastic - Before Anime (Part 1)
Japan Fantastic - Before Anime (Part 2)
Kihachiro Kawamoto - Beyond Anime
Keita Kurosaka - Beyond Anime
Tomoyasu Murata - Beyond Anime
Koji Yamamura - Beyond Anime
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