Not only are we used to directing you to the real-life physical locations of your favorite movies with our “Film + Travel” series, but we’re also accustomed to directing you to exhibitions held in solid, brick-and-motor galleries and museums. When it comes to the planned “The Art of Akira” project, however, neither the locations caught on the displayed film prints nor the space where where they will be displayed exist—at least not yet. A fan of “Akira”, the iconic Japanese manga comic series and 1988 animated film created by Katsuhiro Otomo, author and designer of Fark.com, Joe Peacock has all the cel prints, concept art, and other essentials needed to create a retrospective installation celebrating the influential movie. He just needs you to help him find it a home.
Somewhat of an evangelist for the film, Peacock argues that, “‘Akira’ is one of the most astounding accomplishments in filmmaking, animation and artistic history”. Indeed, his pitch is strong (see the video above) and the film is unique—125 minutes of over 160,000 cels and backgrounds, each hand–drawn and hand-painted. Currently, Peacock is working with the ToonSeum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to arrange his massive collection of background mattes, concept sketches, and cels into an installation opening some time in the next year. In a New Media twist, however, he’s also asking the public at large to either supply him with further artifacts from the animated film or connect him with studios, collectors, or archives who may be sitting on these precious bits of ephemera. As well, he’s used his website, www.artofakira.com, to make an open call for funds so that he can take his show on the road in anticipation of the American live-action version of the film, scheduled to drop in 2011. So if you’d like to see “The Art of Akira” come to your town, best get clicking.
For more information go to www.artofakira.com.
945 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Images courtesy of Art of Akira.