Thursday, 9 April 2015

스튜디오 지브리 입체조형전 | Studio Ghibli Exhibition

Party Trick: Taking reallllly flattering photos of people.
We were told about the Studio Ghibli exhibition aaaages ago, and went "it's okay we'll get round to it later on. It'll be less busy that way." It was on for several months, so there was no rush (especially as we were hoping to get tickets for the Ghibli museum in Tokyo).

Flashforward to a few weeks ago and I suddenly remember its existence. We check the website, and lo it's the last ever weekend that it's running for. Of course.

As luck would have it, it coincided with a time we'd arranged to meet up with our friend Nicolette (another south coast buddy), so we all met at Yongsan iPark mall, where the exhibition was apparently hidden away.

Unfortunately, iPark is both enormous and really confusingly laid out. We got lost, quite frequently (as documented in the above photo), even though there were maps dotted around. Maybe it was just us, because nobody else seemed to be lost.

As you can expect from the title of this post, we did actually make it eventually, paid our money, and went in.

Google GIF magic
The first thing you see as you come in is a big animated model of Howl's Moving Castle, complete with clanking, groaning sound effects from the movie. It's so nice and really got us excited for the rest. The photos are pretty self-explanatory, and there are plenty of blogs online that probably did a better breakdown than I can, so I won't bother saying too much.

Calcifer! Eggs! Bacon!
Howl is a lot shorter than I expected.
Although Sophie is also the size of a small child, so maybe it's not to scale.
There was a fun little 'trick eye' box, where they'd tried to make endless fields of flowers using mirrors and lights. In my opinion it didn't quite work, but it was still so pretty to look at and really lovely as an art piece.

Next up was Princess Mononoke, with more models and some video clips this time, too.

When the video ended, the screen went transparent revealing a hidden model of the Forest Spirit

A flat wall so well-painted that it looked like an actual vista.
Next up was Pom Poko, which I regrettably haven't seen yet because tanuki scare me, haha.

The detail in this place was so impressive!
Really nice floor design.

Next was possibly the main attraction for myself and maybe a lot of people:

There was another little 3D Trick Eye display with Mei and Satsuki running back to the house.
Next to that was an exciting little hole cut into the wall (I genuinely had to bend double to get through) that really nicely recreated the forest tunnel from the film.

I really liked the way they decorated the ceiling with leaves and spotlights, the effect was so realistic as if the sun really was gently shining through the trees. It reminded me of when I was a kid and would run full-pelt through dense undergrowth like a wild thing. Sob.

"Who are you? Charcoal soot?"

At the end of the tunnel was a big tree, with a few little holes in it. If you looked through the holes you could see all 3 Totoros, with Big Totoro napping as usual. He's breathing!

Next came Spirited Away, starting with a few displays of artwork from the movie, cut and stacked to give it a 3D effect.

Suddenly, Yubaba
I really enjoyed this one. The designers used perspective to their advantage to really make the bath house seem huge.

Another highlight that inevitably had a long queue next to it was this diorama of the train, complete with No-Face statue to pose with.

Here's Nick looking like a miko (shrine maiden) with No-Face
He's a terrible travel buddy.
After that were several rooms full of concept artworks for various Ghibli films, including a few that didn't get a full display to itself (I'm a little sad that there was a huge Ponyo billboard in the mall to advertise the show, but nothing inside :( Would have loved to see what they could do!) and they were all gorgeous. I'm definitely tempted to get the Studio Ghibli artbooks now if they're all inside.

From there, there was just a little shop (as is only proper) crammed with goodies and people buying said goodies. It was a little heartbreaking to see the markup, having seen a few of these things in a department store in Japan for a lot less. But it's to be expected, I guess!

Outside, there's a desk with a few black Namepens and a stack of round stickers. The idea is you draw something and find a space to make your mark without actually graffitiing the establishment. I really appreciated this, and being the last day the wall was CRAMMED with weeks and weeks of past visitors. The blogs I'd seen before coming had said that the stickers were of the soot sprites from Totoro, but they'd also shown a lot more wall space. By the time we got to it, there were definitely more No-Faces!

From left to right, clockwise, Nicolette's, Nick's, and my two stickers (I'm greedy). Amongst a sea of famous faces, Nick left an offering to the great and mighty Calcifer.

I drew Kiki and Jiji, and in a bout of cockiness decided to leap and stick mine high up where there were still some spaces. Unfortunately I aimed to high and creased the sticker and got it stuck funny ㅠㅠ Luckliy I managed to sort it out.


We looked for food, looked at expensive memorabilia, contemplated gatecrashing a wedding (the food was all just laid out there, how could we not), and ate some surprisingly decent tonkotsu ramen!

After all that, we wandered off to Dongdaemun for some snacks and shopping, where we ate a load of ice cream, bubble tea, and took photos of the weirdly futuristic DDP building. I still haven't had much time or opportunity to explore it but the photos I've seen look incredible so I'll definitely be back at some point.

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