I Love You All / BlackBOX Anime Cels Exhibition

Following text is from the tri-fold brochure for Muha + Blackbox present Celovi iz Anima / Anime Cels 1978 – 1984 exhibition.
Brochure can be downloaded here and it is bilingual (English and Bosnian language).

Last year I was fortunate enough to go and live in Tokyo with my family for 5 months. It was the realization of one of my greatest dreams. I had time and opportunity to visit and see almost all things that are dear to me: Gundam in Odaiba, Macross Valkyrie in Tokyo Skytree, world of Edo in Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura, Sailor Moon on Roppongi Hill, Artnia (Square Enix Gallery and Shop), Ghibli museum… But I had an eye for this cel of D from Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust, that had been on auction at Mandarake store (and still is) for 20 000¥ or around 325KM. So I thought to myself- let´s save some money, if it gets sold, I´ll go to Nakano Broadway and spend my money there, after all, it is the anime fan´s heaven.

Again, the wheel of fortune spins and it span so many times in Tokyo in my favor, that I still wonder „how did I deserve all this“. One day, Komatsu Taro, a professor who invited my wife to teach for one semester at Sophia University, and with her, also our family, was visiting us for lunch and coffee and he said to me:

„Muha-san, how would you like to have some cels from anime? I was collecting them during high school and I might still have some, somewhere behind the cabinet. Let me see if I can find them and I will bring them to you, and if you don´t like them you can throw them away.”

I couldn´t believe his words, and in a few days I received this bag with a small fortune in cels, in-betweens, extremes and story board scenes from anime from the early 80s. A small part of them was heavily damaged, but the majority were still good. And in that group of cels, there was an in-between (phase) from the original Macross, but to me and my friends known as Robotech, with Rick Hunter (Hikaru Ichijyo), my teenage hero. After this I stopped looking at Mandarake´s web shop and I gave up on Nakano Broadway, my heart was satisfied.

Upon my return to Sarajevo, I started to show this fortune that I had to my friends and soon I realized that none of them ever had the opportunity to see any cels from any kind of old school 2D animation. So I decided together with my BlackBOX friends to organize an exhibition. And to share my fortune with others, for I will only keep two in-betweens and the rest of them will end up in the homes and studios of artists, illustrators, animators, DJ´s or just manga and anime fans in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I would like to dedicate this exhibition to Komatsu Taro, a Tokyo teenager of the early 80s, who probably never dreamed of having his collection exhibited, and on top of that, exhibited in Sarajevo, and to all teenagers of the late 80s and early 90ies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia, who at the time recognized the originality of anime and created the basis for ongoing anime fandom. Most likely, they wouldn´t even have dreamed of seeing the original cels from their favorite anime exhibited in Sarajevo.

And I would like to thank: Komatsu Taro, exemplary professor from Sophia University, a good friend, aniki (兄貴), who recognized my passion for anime as it is; Julijan Komšić & Srećko Hrkač, BlackBOX print shop and gallery, for creating safe space for alternative arts and artists, a place for new artists to realize their creation, and for the support of this non-commercial project; to my friends who supported the realization of this exhibition: Renato Foder, Toni Huml, Edin “Ville” Pašović, Mirsad Festa, Srđan Tunić, Stephen Hefford, Dejan “Mickey” Mijatović, Boris Stapić, Enis Čišić & Billain;
and to all of you for coming to see something different.

As the song goes,
I love you all.
Sarajevo, March 2017

Additionally, I would like to thank Takayuki Kumakura, Head of Culture and Public Relations Section, Embassy of Japan in B&H, and Nozomi Miyanoya, Japanese Language Course teacher, Faculty of Philosophy, Sarajevo University, for bringing an extra note to the opening night and sharing their personal thoughts on importance of anime.

And on the day when we took down the exhibition some of my friends showed up, so we did little token photo session with the cels that they got. On photo bellow, from left to right are: Edin Pašović (designer & animator), Damir Šauli (painter & designer), Mirsad Festa (print-maker, designer & animator), Boris Stapić (mangaka, illustrator & character designer); and in the center Mensur SCORE Demir (architect, street artist & painter).

Here is a list of artists and art related individuals who have received a piece of this collection:

Billain (DJ & sound designer), Enis Čišić (Marvel comics author), Dejan Mijatović (illustrator & concept artist), David Rajšter (tunnel designer & photographer), Lenka Trdina (designer), Šimek Redžinald (film editor & director), Srđan Tunić (art historian & curator), Faruk Šabanović (animator & director), Toni Huml (animator & director), Renato Foder (film editor, designer & director), Kenan Omerović (illustrator & designer), Srećko Hrkač (print-maker & director of BlackBOX), Julijan Komšić (owner of BlackBOX), Adnan Halvadžija (animator & director), Zdravko Cvjetković (animator & director), Daniel Premec & Nela Hasanbegović (sculptors). And a few went to my anime otaku friends.

As for me, I kept Robotech/Macross tween and Captain Harlock – Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX storyboard scene and they are already hung on my kitchen wall.