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Miyazaki, Moebius : two artists whose drawing come to life.

Totoro(1988)© Ghibli/Buena Vista International

Created from 300 original drawings, often from the artists' personal collections, the exhibition Moebius, Miyazaki: deux artistes dont les dessins prennent vie traces parallels between these two major figures of drawing and animation.

Hôtel de la Monnaie in Paris presents the show, with the first room offering a general panorama over the two artists. Hayao Miyazaki (Tokyo, 1941) is now considered as the greatest master in Japanimation, with a number of films under his belt including Conan, The Boy in Future for the TOEI company and Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind, 1984. After creating his own Ghibli Studios, he directed his major works: Porco Rosso (1992), Princess Mononoke (1997) and Spirited Away (2001). Moebius (Jean Giraud, Nogent-sur-Marne, 1938) is an illustrator and collaborator who is well-know for Blueberry's adventures (with Charlier's scenario) but also for the exploration of the Science-Fiction worlds in comics such as L'Incal, Arzach, Les maîtres du Temps. Dune, Alien, Abbys, Tron, The Fifth Element were his famous works for the cinema. Visitors are presented with not only original drawings but also televisions showing interviews, behind the scenes at Ghibli Studios and the numerous collaborations Moebius had with cinema. The curators also came up with the idea to organize a meeting between Moebius and Miyazaki in the Ghibli Studios where they created the show's poster, and memorialised this meeting by taking photos and films. The other rooms pay particular attention to present parallels between the two artists' productions. Thanks to a practical presentation (on circular panels, with an artist on each side) these parallels become obvious, although it may not have been expected that two artists coming from such different cultures could be compared.

Moebius,Arzach,épisode Rhapsody © Moebius/Buena Vista International France

The following rooms are devoted to the themes Miyazaki and Moebius have in common. First of all, the fascination for the invisible worlds: Miyazaki's profound animism and the spiritual content in Moebius' drawings are prominent. A quote by Moebius on the wall reads: "The drawing, it's the image of an internal life, but it is also only an image. Earlier the original drawings were based on the broadcast. Nowadays, they are looked at as if we listen to a single note in a symphony, and we still find it beautiful. Isolating it pays homage to it for having been created unique and punctual". Miyazaki claims: "Of course I believe the existence of worlds other than ours! If they didn't exist it wouldn't be interesting to believe. It's like love: you do not see it but it exists ... because you believe in it! Everything is in the belief". The next room studies the creatures haunting the works of the two artists. Their common love for heroes and monsters is obvious. The characters' studied by Moebius are particularly interesting, the artist describes all the physical and moral characteristics, even their smell. The ecological concerns are also common to the two drawers, with Miyazaki's luxuriant vegetation and Moebius' mineral landscapes.

Hayao Miyazaki,Laputa,the castel in the sky(1986) © Ghibli/Buena Vista International France

Another recurrent detail is maybe more unexpected, the fascination for the aerial worlds they both share. Moebius' science-fiction works often take place in interstellar space. Hayao Miyazaki is fascinated by the air as we see in titles like Laputa: the Castle in the Sky. Moreover, during WWII, his father, Katsuji Miyazaki, owned the Miyazaki Airplane company. Charmed by planes since his childhood, Hayao developed a passion for flying objects that he expresses in the plan designs for Porco Rosso. The show ends with a video, combining images from Miyazaki's and Moebius' main productions. This video lays even more emphasis on the parallels between the two artists' worlds, where the editing offers a visual link between each scene.

For almost twenty five years now, Moebius and Hayao Miyazaki share their dream worlds with indisputable success, both critical and commercial. This exhibition represents the popular cult of these two artists who succeed in capturing an audience totally devoted to their worlds.

Text : Maxime Olivier
Translation : Maxime Olivier and Sarah Stephenson

Miyazaki, Moebius : deux artistes dont les dessins prennent vie. From the 1st December 2004 to the 13th March 2005. Hôtel de la Monnaie in Paris.

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