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Behind the scenes: Anime artist Hiromasa Ogura in Conversation

Talk Event
August 1, 2018

Hear from prolific anime art director and background artist Hiromasa Ogura (Patlabor: the Movie, 1989; Ghost In The Shell, 1995) in conversation with anime researcher and filmmaker Philip Brophy. This talk event is part of the event program for Anime Architecture, a free exhibition on display at The Japan Foundation Gallery from 1 June – 11 August 2018.

Working in the Japanese anime industry for over 40 years, Ogura’s signature painterly backgrounds are seen in early works The Castle of Cagliostro (1979) and Patlabor: The Movie (1989), through to Ghost in the Shell (1995), Spirited Away (2001), and Ghost in the Shell: Innocence (2004). During his time with leading anime studios Kobayashi Production and Production I.G., the industry transformed from hand-drawn animation to incorporate blended digital processes.

Describing his roles as art director and background artist, Ogura’s experiences trace the collaborative processes working with film directors, location scout photographers and layout artists. These different stages inform his delivery of the final hand painted gouache backgrounds on paper and the layered mid and foreground elements on transparent cels. In discussion with Brophy, hear Ogura’s experiences inside the Japanese anime industry, and the processes of crafting the detailed and immersive worlds of Japan’s iconic anime.

This talk will be livestreamed on The Japan Foundation, Sydney Facebook page.

Born in 1954, Hiromasa Ogura is a graphic artist and designer of backgrounds and concepts for animated films and computer games. He started working in anime at Kobayashi Production 1977; in 1983 he left and establish Studio Fuga with Hiroshi Ono and Toshiharu Mizutani. From 1995 to 2007, Ogura was the head of the Art Department at Production I.G, from which he established his own firm, Ogura Koubo.

With a close working relationship with director Mamoru Oshii since 1987, Ogura was art director for Patlabor: the Movie (1989) and Ghost in the Shell (1995), which feature in the exhibition Anime Architecture. He was art director for Ninja Scroll (1993) and several films and anime series. Ogura also worked in the animation department on films The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004), Spirited Away (2001), The Castle of Cagliostro (1979), Jungle Emperor Leo (1997) and many more.



Since the 1970’s, Philip Brophy has produced creative content in diverse contexts as an artist, curator, author, film director, curator and musician. With a specific research interest in Japanese anime stemming from his background in film programming, Brophy developed the Osamu Tezuka retrospective for ACMI in 2006, as well as the exhibition Tezuka: The Marvel of Manga, which toured art museums in Australia and internationally. He has written extensively on anime (100 Anime) and is currently writing Unnatural Disaster – Imaging Destruction from Hiroshima to Fukushima & Beyond, a book on Japanese manga, animation, music and popular culture.


August 1, 2018 (Wednesday)
6:15pm-8pm (doors open 5:30pm)

Free, limited capacity. Walk-ins are welcome. Bookings are available and recommended for those who are certain of attending.

(This link leads to Eventbrite.)

Unclaimed seats will be released to walk-in audience after 6:15pm.

The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008

(02) 8239 0055

Header image: Install view of Anime Architecture at The Japan Foundation, Sydney


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