The 22nd Yusaku Kamekura Design Award Exhibition
The Yusaku Kamekura Design Award was established in 1999 to honor the achievements of the late graphic designer Yusaku Kamekura (1915-1997), and to contribute to the further development of the graphic design field. Operation of the award program and selection of the winner, chosen annually, are performed by the Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA). JAGDA awards the prize to the designer whose works are judged most worthy among all entries featured in its yearbook, Graphic Design in Japan.
The 22nd Yusaku Kamekura Design Award was bestowed on Atsuki Kikuchi for his book design of the exhibition catalogue “Barbarian and Refined: The Ceramic Artistry of Shoji Kamoda.” Mr. Kikuchi began his work in graphic design as a university student. In 2000 he established Bluemark Inc., and then in 2011 he founded his own design office. His career highlights include creating the VI and signage planning of the Aomori Museum of Art, art direction of the minä perhonen and Sally Scott fashion brands, and numerous outstanding designs for books, magazines and packaging. Meanwhile, since early in his career he has continuously undertaken multifaceted activities that have played leading roles in various trends since 2000, including operating an alternative space and a book label and producing a restaurant. Mr. Kikuchi’s designs are imbued with practicality within critically charged artistic expression. They are highly regarded for the way they penetrate to the essence of their subject and their apt results.
“Barbarian and Refined: The Ceramic Artistry of Shoji Kamoda,” the work for which Mr. Kikuchi was presented the Yusaku Kamekura Design Award, is a catalogue for an exhibition held at Musée Tomo. Shoji Kamoda was a highly acclaimed ceramic artist who flourished in the second half of the 20th century, until his premature death in 1983 at the age of 49. The judges praised Mr. Kikuchi’s book design for its comprehensive strengths in terms of editing, photography, printing and binding: one judge describing the totality of design as “flawless.” Mr. Kikuchi was further lauded for the way he clearly elucidated what the reader should glean about Kamoda’s works within the catalogue’s overall context. Another judge commented that while collections of an artist’s works often tend to be overblown, the catalogue designed by Mr. Kikuchi conveys precisely, without embellishment, who Shoji Kamoda was.
This solo exhibition is being held to commemorate Mr. Kikuchi’s winning of this highly coveted award.
Born in Tokyo in 1974, Atsuki Kikuchi attended Musashino Art University, majoring in Sculpture. In 2000 he established Bluemark Inc., then in 2011 he founded his own design office. Mr. Kikuchi’s major work to date includes: VI and signage planning for Aomori Museum of Art (2006); art direction for the minä perhonen (1995-2004) and Sally Scott (2002 to date) fashion brands; book design for the magazines “Shun ga marugoto” (2007-2012), “So-en” (2013) and “Nikkei Kairo” (2015-2016); and package design for “Kamenoko Sponge” (2015). Mr. Kikuchi has also published a collection of his works titled “PLAY” (2009). Among his many awards received to date are the Kodansha Publishing Culture Award, Japan Package Design Award Grand Prix, Hiromu Hara Award,ADC Award and JAGDA Award.
CREATION GALLERY G8
Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA)
Yusaku Kamekura Design Award Office
Yusaku Kamekura Design Award
The Yusaku Kamekura Design Award was established to honor the design achievements of the late Yusaku Kamekura (1915-1997), as a way of contributing to the ongoing development of the graphic design field. Made possible through a gift from the Kamekura family, the award program is operated by the Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA), where Mr. Kamekura long served in the role of its founding president. Under this program, the “Yusaku Kamekura Design Award” is presented to the designer of the work or works deemed most outstanding among all entries for inclusion in the JAGDA yearbook, Graphic Design in Japan.
Mr. Kamekura loathed being forever identified for his connection to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and until just before his untimely death he eagerly vied against the younger generations of designers with works vibrantly “set in the present.” Through his editorial work for his graphic design magazine CREATION, he pursued the artistry and true essence of graphic design. Respecting his wishes, the award presented in his name honors graphic design that blends universal appeal with innovative creativity. Each award comes with a prize of JPY 500,000 and a plaque designed by Taku Satoh.
Previous Award Winners
Ikko Tanaka (1999), Kazumasa Nagai (2000), Kenya Hara (2001), Kashiwa Sato (2002), Masayoshi Nakajo (2003), Kazunari Hattori (2004), Mitsuo Katsui (2005), Shin Matsunaga (2007), Taku Satoh (2008), Ryosuke Uehara (2009), Katsumi Asaba (2010), Katsuhiko Shibuya (2012), Keiko Hirano (2013), Kaoru Kasai (2014), Kenjiro Sano (2015), Ken Miki (2016), Yoshie Watanabe (2017), Norio Nakamura (2018), Yoshiaki Irobe (2019). (No works were judged worthy of the award in 2006 or 2011.)
Sat, June 27, 2020 in Kumamoto (at the site of JAGDA’s 2020 Regular General Assembly)
Publication of the Award-Winning Works
Mr. Kikuchi’s award-winning works will be featured in Graphic Design in Japan 2020, scheduled for publication in June 2020 (Rikuyosha Co., Ltd. / Price: JPY 16,500)