The latest Wes Anderson film, Isle of Dogs, has been celebrated in London with an exhibition of the original set designs and puppets at The Store X at 180 Strand in London. A life-sized rendering of a ramen bar featured in the film – complete with noodles and sake cocktails by chef Akira Shimizu of Soho’s Engawa restaurant – allows visitors to step inside the world of Anderson.
The sets and puppets for the stop-motion animation, which is set in Japan 20 years in the future, were intricately crafted at 3 Mills Studios in east London. After The Store X hosted the epic wrap party for the film last year, they stayed in touch, and took the creative opportunity to work together on an exhibition for the launch of the film on the ground floor of the huge brutalist building in central London.
A close-up of one of the sets and original puppets used in the film on display in the exhibition
The story of Isle of Dogs follows the journey of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to the corrupt Mayor Kobayashi, who goes in search of his body-guard dog Spots, who has been expelled with all the other dogs of the fictional city of Megasaki to ‘Trash island’, a vast dump of garbage.
‘The film is set in a retro future, but its a 1950s aesthetic of Japan very much influenced by the post-industrial era – there was a huge construction boom in the 1950s, 60s, 70s of concrete built factories. There was a lot of excess industrial output which now is slightly decaying and declining – that was the influence for Trash Island,’ says Tommy Tannock, exhibition organiser at the Store X.
‘Isle of Dogs’ is on view until 8 April. For more information, visit the Store Studios website
The Store X
180 The Strand
LondonWC2 R 1EA
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Harriet Thorpe is a writer, journalist and editor covering architecture, design and culture, with particular interest in sustainability, 20th-century architecture and community. After studying History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Journalism at City University in London, she developed her interest in architecture working at Wallpaper* magazine and today contributes to Wallpaper*, The World of Interiors and Icon magazine, amongst other titles. She is author of The Sustainable City (2022, Hoxton Mini Press), a book about sustainable architecture in London, and the Modern Cambridge Map (2023, Blue Crow Media), a map of 20th-century architecture in Cambridge, the city where she grew up.
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