MoT and Ghibli’s anime exhibition highlights Frederic Back

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Together with Studio Ghibli Inc., the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) this summer again presents its annual exhibition dedicated to top-notch animation.

Featured this year is Canadian animation artist Frederic Back in the show slated to run July 2-Oct. 2.

Born in Saar, now a part of Germany, the animator and illustrator won an Academy Award in 1981 for his short animated film “Crac!” which focused on Quebecois culture in French-speaking Canada.

The animator went on to win another Oscar in 1987 in the same category for “The Man Who Planted Trees.”

Back has received accolades from around the world, and Ghibli directors Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki highly respect his great talent.

The MOT exhibition takes a close look at Back’s accomplishments, featuring about 1,000 pieces by the animator, including original illustrations, concept art materials and sketches usually unavailable for public view.

The MOT has presented an animation-themed exhibition with Ghibli assistance every summer since 2005. Past exhibitions featured animation works associated with Ghibli and its business partner, The Walt Disney Co. (Japan) Ltd.

The 2011 Back exhibition marks a new departure for the series, as the artist has not directly worked with the two companies.

Although highly regarded in animation circles, Back is relatively unknown among the general public.

Aiming to raise his profile, a news conference held April 19 to announce the exhibition was streamed live on the Internet via Nico Nico Live, operated by video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga. The website is popular among young Internet users.

At the event were Suzel Back-Drapeau, Back’s daughter and vice president of Atelier Frederic Back; director Takahata from Ghibli; Haruo Masuda, responsible for the composition and design of the exhibition; MOT deputy director Wakato Ono and Nippon Television Network Corp. president Noritada Hosokawa.
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