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Media Release

For Immediate Release | June 25, 2018

Anime Architecture Event Program

The Japan Foundation, Sydney presents an event series to run alongside the popular exhibition, Anime Architecture, which opened earlier this month. Featuring talks and workshops, the event program explores imagined worlds in Japanese science fiction animation films and the creative processes behind fictional world-building. Program highlights feature a talk and a masterclass workshop by Hiromasa Ogura, art director of iconic anime film, Ghost in the Shell.

The event series runs July 7 to August 2, 2018 at The Japan Foundation, Sydney, located in Chippendale.

Talk Events

Giant Robots and Cute Androids: The Evolution of Mechanical Bodies in Japanese Anime
Thursday, July 19 | 6:30pm-8pm (doors open 6pm)

From Astroboy to Evangelion, robots in Japanese anime trace a relationship of desire and fear towards technology. In this talk, anime researcher Dr Rebecca Suter will explore the origins of two fundamental types of robot protagonists in Japanese anime—the cute humanoid robot and the giant remote controlled robot—and their evolution into robots that were inhabited or “worn” by their pilots, who interacted with the machines with an increasing emotional and physical integration.

Behind the Scenes: Anime Artist Hiromasa Ogura in Conversation
Wednesday, August 1 | 6:15pm-8pm (doors open 5:30pm)

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.

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.

Concept Design for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) by Takashi Watabe © 2004 Shirow Masamune / KODANSHA · IG, ITNDDTD

Concept Design for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) by Takashi Watabe © 2004 Shirow Masamune / KODANSHA · IG, ITNDDTD


Drawing Imagined Worlds for Manga and Anime
Saturday, July 7 | 1pm-3pm

Learn to construct your own fictional manga and anime world with published manga illustrator, Queenie Chan. This workshop will help you gain basic understanding of how to give your story a distinct visual identity by creating architectural structures or character costumes unique to their world.

Open to high school and tertiary education students.

The Dreaming (c) Queenie Chan

Backgrounds Masterclass with Hiromasa Ogura
Thursday, August 2 | 6pm-8pm

Background artist Hiromasa Ogura (Patlabor: the Movie, 1989; Ghost In The Shell, 1995) will lead a masterclass studio experience for early career animators and illustrators. In this rare intensive workshop, Ogura will demonstrate and teach his techniques and processes for preparing backgrounds for anime. Participants will work to develop their own background illustration and have the opportunity to receive feedback from Ogura during the workshop.

Due to the nature of the content, this event is open by portfolio application only to early career artists, professionals and students of animation and illustration.

Background illustration for Ghost in the Shell (1995) by Hiromasa Ogura © 1995 Shirow Masamune / KODANSHA · BANDAI VISUAL · MANGA ENTERTAINMENT Ltd.

Background illustration for Ghost in the Shell (1995) by Hiromasa Ogura © 1995 Shirow Masamune / KODANSHA · BANDAI


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.


Queenie Chan was born in Hong Kong in 1980. At aged six, she migrated with her family to Australia where she grew up and later graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems. In 2004, Queenie started drawing a 3-volume mystery-horror series called, “The Dreaming”, for LA-based manga publisher TOKYOPOP. To date, it has been translated into multiple languages.

She has since collaborated on several single-volume graphic novels with best-selling author Dean Koontz, as prequels to his “Odd Thomas” novel series. She also worked on “Small Shen”, the prequel to Kylie Chan’s “White Tiger” Chinese fantasy series, and “Fabled Kingdom”, a 3-book fairy-tale inspired fantasy adventure told in a mix of prose and comics.


Rebecca Suter is associate professor in Japanese Studies at the University of Sydney. Her main research interests are in modern Japanese literature and popular culture, with a cross-cultural focus. She is the author of The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan and the United States (2008),  and Holy Ghosts: the Christian Century in Modern Japanese Fiction (2015) and Rewriting History in Manga: Stories for the Nation (2016), co-edited with Dr. Nissim Otmazgin. She is also a translator of manga, and has translated works by Shinohara Chie, Anno Moyoko, Miuchi Suzue, Asano Inio, Kitoh Mohiro, Katayama Kyoichi, Matsumoto Taiyô, and Unita Yumi, among others.

Editor’s Notes
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The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4 (via lifts), Central Park
28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008


Talk Events
Admission is free. Limited capacity; first-come, first-served.

Paid admission; bookings essential. See website for more information.

Gallery Hours

Mon-Thu: 10am–8pm*
Fri: 10am–6pm
Sat: 10am–3pm

*Select weeknights close on 6pm: July 9 – 19, 2018
Closed on Sundays and public holidays (June 11; July 16 – Marine Day)

General Enquiries

(02) 8239 0055

Media Enquiries

Jessica Chow
(02) 8239 0055

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Exhibition developed by

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