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Akira– The Architecture of Neo Tokyo

Riekeles Gallery in co-operation with Tchoban Foundation has the honour to announce the opening of the exhibition AKIRA – The Architecture of Neo Tokyo.

59 original artworks such as production backgrounds, layout drawings, concept designs and imageboards which had been used to create Neo Tokyo in the animated feature will be on display. Exclusive access to the studio archives of the artists involved in AKIRA's production allows the presentation of artworks that have never been presented in an exhibition and only very few of them have ever been published. The exhibition includes works by Toshiharu Mizutani who served as the production's art director and his colleagues Katsufumi Hariu, Norihiro Hiraki, Shinji Kimura, Satoshi Kuroda, Hiromasa Ogura, Hiroshi Ohno, Hajime Soga, Tsutomu Uchida and Takashi Watabe.

*Venue: Tchoban Foundation. Museum for Architectural Drawing Christinenstrasse 18a, 10119 Berlin
*Exhibition dates: 4 June –4 September 2022
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 2 – 7 pm, Sat – Sun 1 – 5 pm
*Guided tour for the press: 3 June 2022, at 6 pm Please register at sr @ riekeles.com. You will receive a confirmation of the registration.
*Exhibition opening: 3. June 2022, at 7 pm

The exhibition is curated by Stefan Riekeles, Managing Director of the Riekeles Gallery, in collaboration with Nadejda Bartels, Director of Tchoban Foundation. Hiroko Kimura-Myokam of EIZO Workshop G.K. (Japan) is co-curator of the show.

www.riekeles.com
www.tchoban-foundation.de
www.EIZO.ws

Based on the graphic novel “AKIRA” by Katsuhiro Otomo.
First published by “Young Magazine”, Kodansha Ltd.

© 1988 MASH・ROOM / AKIRA COMMITTEE. All Rights Reserved.

AKIRA, cut no. 1, Toshiharu Mizutani, final production background, poster colour on paper, 93 × 53 cm

AKIRA, cut no. 140, Tsutomu Uchida, final production background, poster colour on paper, 26 × 36.5 cm

AKIRA, cut no. 182, Toshiharu Mizutani, final production background, poster colour on paper, 55 × 43 cm

AKIRA, cut no. 207, Hiroshi Ohno, final production background, poster colour on transparent foil and paper, 42,3 × 36 cm

AKIRA, cut no. 2094, artist unknown, final production background Poster colour on paper, 31 × 47 cm

AKIRA, cut. no. 2211, Hiroshi Ohno, final production background, poster colour on transparent foils and paper, 50 × 36 cm

Collector's edition and posters
On the occasion of the exhibition AKIRA – The Architecture of Neo Tokyo, held from 4 June to 4 September at the Tchoban Foundation. Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin, Riekeles Gallery publishes a series of exclusive poster prints and high-grade reproductions in a limited edition. The products are available at the venue and world-wide at www.riekeles.com.

High-grade collector's edition

Production background, cut no. 182 Artist: Toshiharu Mizutani High-grade fine art print
Numbered and signed by the artist Print size: 84.1 × 59.4 cm (A1) Artwork: 55.0 × 43.0 cm
Price: 1.200 EUR
Production background, cut no. 207 Artist: Hiroshi Ohno
High-grade fine art print
Numbered and signed by the artist Print size: 59.4 × 42.0 cm (A2) Artwork: 42.3 x 36.0 cm
Price: 980 EUR

Our series of high-quality facsimile reproductions is the flagship of Riekeles Gallery. Each print is produced in Japan with the utmost care for colour, print quality and archival requirements for the ambitious collector.
These exclusive reproductions are limited to 25 copies, each numbered and signed by the artists.

While the motifs for our poster prints are cropped for an immaculate appearance without framing and passe-partout, our high-grade line comes with all the patina that the artwork gathered during its use in the production process. Besides the sheer beauty of the artwork it's these traces and stains that we enjoy sharing most.

Posters

Production background, cut no. 182 Artist: Toshiharu Mizutani Lithographic printing
Print size: 70.0 × 50.0 cm (B2) Price: 65 EUR
Production background, cut no. 207 Artist: Hiroshi Ohno
Lithographic printing
Print size: 70.0 × 50.0 cm (B2) Price: 65 EUR

The production background for AKIRA's cut no. 182 painted by art director Toshiharu Mizutani presents a street in down-town Neo Tokyo with vehicles, pubs and shops – a glimpse into the vibrant nightlife of Neo Tokyo.
The production background for AKIRA's cut no. 207 is a superb rendering of Neo Tokyo's architecture painted by Hiroshi Ohno one of the foremost art directors in the anime industry.
Posters are limited to 500 copies of each motif.

Catalogue

Anime Architecture – Imagined Worlds and Endless Megacities by Stefan Riekeles was published by Thames & Hudson in 2020 and is available from https://www.riekeles.com/shop/p/anime-architecture.

About Riekeles Gallery
Riekeles Gallery was established in 2021 by Stefan Riekeles, a passionate lover of animation background art. He is the author of “Anime Architecture” (Thames & Hudson, 2020) and “Proto Anime Cut Archive” (Kehrer, 2011) and has curated several exhibitions to present the outstanding artwork that doesn't come to fore very often.
A dense network fostered by personal contacts with artists, producers and licencing partners enables Riekeles Gallery to offer exclusive collectibles and behind-the-scene insights of the anime industry.
A signed print is the only way you will know for sure whose work you are collecting. Cels and other artwork available on the secondary market are usually not signed nor approved by their authors and there is only a small chance to ever find out. All reproductions offered by Riekeles Gallery meet the highest standards and are given the final approval by the artists who created the work. In doing so, we strive to provide a direct link between anime creators and the collectors of their work.

About Akira (movie)
Since its release in 1988 AKIRA was almost solely responsible for the boom in Japanese animation (anime) among an international audience during the early 1990s. For many viewers AKIRA was the first film that they perceived as anime – as specifically Japanese animation. As such, it had a tremendous influence on a whole generation of film enthusiasts. Much of AKIRA's cinematic power stems from the opulent representation of the film's iconic city of Neo Tokyo.
The towering high-rise buildings that appear in the background of many of the low angle cuts are inspired by the urban design of Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927). The influence of another iconic science-fiction movie, that of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982) on AKIRA is undeniable, resonating strongly throughout the project. AKIRA is even set in the same year as the seminal cyberpunk film which is 2019.

At the time of production, AKIRA was the most expensive anime ever made and marked a pinnacle in the design of realistic background artwork. Drawing and painting architecture is a very time-consuming process, much more so than the depiction of pastoral motifs. Because the biggest part of the cost in the production of an animated movie is the work force, each building to be painted consumes a large part of the budget. Therefore realism, in terms of architecture, is a big challenge for any animated film and AKIRA set new standards in this respect.

The film was almost entirely produced on paper. Although some digital effects were incorporated during post-production, all the background artworks were painted in poster colour and shot on film. As a visual tour de force, AKIRA had a tremendous influence on the subsequent expectations of film enthusiasts, and on understandings of what anime could be.

Theatrical screening
Lichtblick-Kino will be showing the film AKIRA on 16 Jul., 30 Jul., 20 Aug. and 4 Sep. Visitors to the exhibition receive a discounted ticket of 6€ (instead of 7,50€) for attending the film screening upon presentation of their museum ticket.
Venue and previous exhibitions

Tchoban Foundation. Museum for Architectural Drawing sees its mission in promoting the world of architectural drawing to a broader audience. Works of architects such as Peter Cook, Thom Mayne, Alvaro Siza or Lebbeus Woods have been shown in profound exhibitions at the museum in Berlin. In 2016, the exhibition Anime Architecture presented the background art of Ghost in the Shell (1995), Patlabor: The Movie (1989) and Metropolis (2001), curated by Stefan Riekeles in collaboration with Nadejda Bartels and co-curated by Hiroko Myokam.
After its premiere at the Tchoban Foundation the exhibition Anime Architecture travelled to House of Illustration, London, UK (2017 May 27 - September 10), Japan Foundation, Sydney, Australia (2018 June 1 – August 11), Gosford Regional Gallery, Gosford, Australia (2019 March 30 - May 19), Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, Florida, USA (2019 November 9 – 2020 April 3).

AKIRA – The Architecture of Neo Tokyo will continue this line of programming.

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