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Inside the Aardman Animations universe

May 05,2018
A four-meter (13-feet) sailboat from “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” (2012), is covered in blue and purple lights. [AARDMAN STUDIO]
The bright red rocket from “Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out” (1989), which the duo built to get to the moon in search of cheese, is on display at the exhibition. [AARDMAN STUDIO]
For parents mulling over where to take their children for Children’s Day, “The Art of Aardman Animations: Wallace & Gromit and Friends” may be the perfect choice.

The venerable British studio behind a number of hit movies like “Creature Comforts” (1990), “Chicken Run” (2000) and the “Wallace & Gromit” series, is presenting a total of 372 artworks that make up the 40-year history of Aardman’s award-winning features in Korea.

Although the artworks behind the studio’s features may be more familiar to parents than their children, kids will be able to enjoy the exhibition thanks to the well-explained artworks that are represented in diverse forms, including drawings, sketches, animation sets, clay dolls and digital videos.

Running through July 12 at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul, Aardman’s latest exhibition in Korea marks its fourth exhibition abroad after Paris, Frankfurt and Melbourne.

Divided into three sections, the first part demonstrates the beginnings of Aardman’s creations in the form of drawings, storyboards and scrapbooks. They include the roughly sketched storyboard of the 1997 film “Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers” (1993) and the water colored drawings of scenes in “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” (2005).

Another section invites visitors to observe three-dimensional objects that have been created from drawings. Known for its distinct depictions of nature and bizarre technological inventions in the studio’s features, original sets and distinct inventions from the movies and TV shows are on display. One of the eye-catching invention in this section is the bright red rocket from “Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out” (1989), which the duo built to get to the moon in search of cheese.

Short, explanatory videos on the processes of animation, such as how stop-motion animation is made, and short clips of the studio’s creations are presented in between artworks to help visitors better understand how the studio’s works get made.

When it comes to art, light is one of the most crucial factors that artists take into consideration, and the creators behind Aardman’s famous works were no exception. Their effort to bring out curves, shadows and depth of the shape is clear in the third section. The largest, and most notable, installation here is a four-meter (13-feet) sailboat from “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” (2012). Blue and purple lights that shine on the bottom of the floating sailboat instantly catches visitors’ attention near the end of the exhibit.

This display comes ahead of Aardman studio’s newest release, “Early Man.” Directed by Nick Park, the man behind the classic look that the studio has come to be known for worldwide, the feature revolves around a prehistoric caveman striving to fight for the land he and his tribe lost after emissaries from a distant empire took it away, which arrived at local theaters on Thursday.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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