Post-war Japanese Art on Screen at Anime Impact!
Why We Recommend it
Seven decade-defining Japanese animated films produced between the 1970s and the 2000s offer insights into Japan’s trauma, shadow and post-WWII art.
On 6th and 9th August 1945, the U.S. Armed Forces dropped atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In less than a week, the Japanese Emperor Hirohito broadcast the “Imperial Rescript of the Termination of the War” on radio and announced the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan, thus bringing World War II to a close. Japan was unable to wrest free from the trauma and shadow of war.
Art critic Noi Sawaragi points out that post-war art in Japan on the whole avoided alluding to past war crimes. The memory and imagery of war were creatively and eccentrically evoked within such subcultural fields as animation and comics. In the anime world, such repressed fears are transformed into apocalyptic catastrophes, destructive monsters, alien invasions, and youngsters chosen to rescue humanity.
Organised in conjunction with Tai Kwun’s exhibition Murakami vs. Murakami, “Anime Impact!” features Galaxy Express 999 (a milestone work by Leiji Matsumoto, about adventures throughout the universe), Patlabor The Movie and Neon Genesis Evangelion (both revamping typical elements of Japanese animation, by the unconventional directors Mamoru Oshii and Hideaki Anno), Memories, Mind Game, and Paprika (masterpieces by Katsuhiro Otomo, Masaaki Yuasa, and Satoshi Kon). The screenings of the line-up of the seemingly familiar Japanese anime films offer viewers a fresh understanding of this medium from the lens of history and development of subcultures, and establish connections with Japanese fine art and contemporary art.