New Ghibli Museum Exhibition Depicts the Color of Time

Does time have a color? It certainly does. And for director Hayao Miyazaki, the color of time has been an important element of animation throughout his career. For nighttime scenes in particular, the Studio Ghibli animator and his staff have gone to great, painstaking lengths to maintain a sense of translucence and to illustrate darkness without literally darkening the screen. This and several other uses of color are part of a new exhibition opening at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.

Titled Eiga wo Nuru Shigoto (the work of coloring movies), the new exhibition opens November 17, 2018 and is the first new exhibition since last year.

Using My Neighbor Totoro as an example, one section of the exhibition will be dedicated to how illustrators have used color to depict the passage of time. What’s particularly enlightening are the 3 different versions of the cat bus that were created, each for a different time of evening. And the names for each color palette are particularly delightful: dusk, evening and streetlamp.

the “tasokare (dusk) color” Cat Bus

the “evening color” Cat Bus

the “streetlamp color” Cat Bus

In addition to time, two other sections will be devoted to other aspects of color: “coloring light” and “coloring water and air.” The exhibition will run through November 2019 only at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo.

a section of the exhibition dedicated to coloring light

Every color – all 580 of them – used in Princess Mononoke

1 Comment

  1. Seems like a fascinating exhibit–it’s unfortunate that I likely won’t be able to go.

    Also there is a small typo in the transliteration of the exhibit title. It should be read as “Eiga wo Nuru Shigoto” not “Eigo wo Nuru Shigoto.” If it was “Eigo,” the name of the exhibit would be “The Work of Colouring English.” ^_^

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