11 February 2012

The World of Kato Kunio

Hachioji Yume Art Museum Special Exhibition: The World of Kato Kunio
八王子市夢美術館特別展 加藤久仁生展
Hachioji Yume Art Museum
10 February – 25 March 2012

On Friday, the Hachioji Yume Art Museum launched its special exhibition celebrating the career so far of Oscar-winning animator Kunio Katō (加藤久仁生, b. 1977).  Since winning the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for La maison en petits cubes (つみきのいえ/Tsumiki no ie, 2008), Katō has keep a relatively low profile internationally.  He has; however, indeed kept busy creating an animation campaign in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Sekisui Heim (セキスイハイム) among other projects for his company ROBOT.  There have recently been rumours that Katō may be involved in the production of the animated adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s poetry collection The Prophet (Roger Allers, Sylvain Chomet, et al., 2013).

still from Sekisui Heim animated CM

A graduate of Tama Art University, where Katō was introduced to animation by the influential animator Masahiro Katayama, Katō quickly became the darling of Japan’s indie animation scene with his short films The Apple Incident (2001), Fantasy (2003) and his web series The Diary of Tortov Roddle (2004).  Before winning the Oscar, he had already been the recipient of many laurels including twice winning the Yuri Norstein Prize at Laputa as well as top awards at international festivals including the Japan Media Arts Festival, Hiroshima, and Annecy.

The exhibition, which was put together in collaboration with the designer Makoto Koizumi (小泉誠), features sketches, storyboards, and original illustrations from the production of La maison en petits cubes.  One can follow the production process step-by-step and learn about how this exceptional animated short came to life.  In addition, the exhibition features work Kato has done since winning the Oscar – sketches from Atogaki (あとがき/Postscript) a regular feature by Kato published in the animation magazine MOE.

 The highlight of the exhibition is Katō’s latest animated short  Jōkei (情景, 2012) which he made especially for this event.  In addition, Kenji Kondo, the composer of the La maison en petits cubes soundtrack, and the Kuricorder Quartet (栗コーダーカルテット) will perform music from the film at nearby Ichō Hall on February 16th

For more information and a slideshow of images from the event, go to Yumebi.com (JP only).

Hachioji Yume Art Museum                                                                                                                   
2F View Tower Hachiouji
 8-1 Youkamachi, Hachioujishi
Tokyo 192-0071
Tel.  0426-21-6777 Fax 0426-21-6776
For directions to the event see Tokyo Art Beat (EN/JP)