I'm all for entomology. I'm not one to run away at the sight of a bee or spider. Still, I have to says "yikes!" does the poster for the Ghibli Museum's new "The Lens at Work in The Ghibli Forest" exhibit ever put the "creepy" in "creepy crawly." I'm not sure that the makers of Totoro are really going to be encouraging families to go out into the forest with this one.
There are many things around us that involve the use of lenses, such as a pair of glasses or contact lenses. Nowadays, the lenses inside the camera of our mobile phones are perhaps the most common. So how is such a familiar object created and how does it work? One would imagine that not many people may be able to answer that question.
Thanks to the lenses inside film projectors, Studio Ghibli's movies can be shown on large screens for many people to enjoy. More than 2000 years ago, people discovered that wonderful images would come to life when light was shot through a tiny hole onto a wall. The desire to make these images brighter and much clearer gave birth to lenses and eventually the movies.
At the permanent exhibit area of the Ghibli Museum, visitors can appreciate the process of how drawings on paper become animated on a roll of film. But the screening of a film simply cannot happen without the lens.
This exhibition allows visitors to experience first-hand these close-by yet unnoticed lenses. While walking through and looking into small viewing booths, visitors can peek through lenses and see how objects in front of their eyes seem to change in shape, size and brightness. It is a wonderful sensation that we hope viewers will enjoy.
Additionally, in the footsteps of those forerunners dedicated to entertain crowds with "the world through lenses", visitors will be able to experience projecting "moving pictures" at an interactive exhibit. Furthermore, visitors will have a chance to screen their own Museum film tickets.
Through this exhibition, we hope that the visitors can re-discover these immediate yet often-forgotten lenses.
The Ghibli Museum is located in Inokashira Park in Mitaka, a western suburb of Tokyo, Japan.