Born in California, Jimmy Murakami has spent much of his life based either in Dublin or London.


Primarily renowned as an award winning film director Murakami is also an exceptional painter and we are delighted to have three of his very rare, early Japanese watercolours as editions in the Gallery.


Following a course in Choinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, Jimmy joined the UPA Burbank Studio in 1956. The following year he moved to New York to join the Pintoff Studio, where one of his films was the Oscar nominated The Violinist. In 1960 he moved to London and worked for four years as a producer and director with TV Cartoons. His films with the studio included the BAFTA winning The Insects and Charlie (which won a Gold Award at the Venice Film Festival).


In 1965 Jimmy returned to California to establish Murakami Wolf Films, producing and directing theatrical shorts, documentary film, television specials and commercials. Among the projects that he directed and animated at this time were The Breath (Annecy Grand Prix), The Magic Pear Tree (an Oscar nomination), And of Course You, Golden Eagle Award winner and The Good Friend. In 1971 he set up Murakami Films in Dublin, producing both live and animated TV commercials. In 1980 in Los Angeles, he directed a live action feature film Battle beyond the Stars-a space version of The Seven Samurai-for cult producer Roger Corman.


More recently, he has worked as director of a series of 13 half-hour programmes of The Story Keepers for Shepherd Films, Dublin ITV and Fox Network and 26 half hours of Inspector Mouse, produced by Alegro Animation in Dublin and PMMP in Paris. Christmas 1998 saw the screening of his latest work a director, Oi Get off Our Train. Made by Varga/TVC in London, this was a 28-minute television special for the BBC, Miramax and ZDF. Jimmy Murakami has completed directing a feature film version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol -The Movie produced by London based Illuminated Film Company and released for Christmas 2001.



Scholastic Art Award, Certificate of Merit.

Exhibit Fine Arts Galleries, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA.  


1952 - 1956 

Art Scholarship at Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, California. 

Life drawing, painting, illustration, sculpture and design.  

Watercolour Exhibition at Chouinard and Pasadena Art Gallery, California 



Animation Character Designer and Story board artist.  United Production of America. (UPA)



Designer, Background painter and director, Pintoff Studio, New York.  



Watercolour and wood cut Exhibition in Tokyo, Japan  


1962 -2007 

Continued his art in the animation field.

Designing and directing films for television and cinema



Winner British Academy Awards (BAFTA) Film, “Insects”



Grand Prix,  International Animation Festival, Annecy, France  Film, “Breath”



Nominated for the Oscar by Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

Film, “The Magic Pear Tree” 



Directed TV special “Snowman”,

Feature films “When the Wind Blows” Winner Grand Prix Annecy  

“Christmas Carol” Animated Feature film 

Collections of all the Short animated films on DVD “Reflections of Jimmy Murakami”



Recipient of the Honorary Doctorate at the University of Dundee.



Exhibited solo show  in Belfast,  


2008- 2011

Painted a series of oils for the Documentary feature film on his life.

“Jimmy Murakami Non- Alien” Exhibition in Powerscourt Gallery . 

Exhibited in Dingle, Kenmare, Donegal, Dalkey, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin, Doorway Gallery 

Joined drawing and painting group at RHA.