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Time Tunnel Series Vol. 27

Shigeo Fukuda Exhibition: “Pass under the Hurdle”

  • DATES : Mon. October 27 - Fri. November 21, 2008
  • HOURS : 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays)
  • Closed Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Admission free.

The “Time Tunnel” series of exhibitions spotlights the early years of designers who currently rank among the renowned leaders of their craft. For this 27th exhibition in the series, we requested the participation of Shigeo Fukuda, one of Japan’s leading graphic designers whose artistic activities today are of global reach.

Shigeo Fukuda’s work scope goes well beyond the bounds of “ordinary” designers, encompassing highly humorous posters as well as public art, environmental design, toys and picture books. “Everybody thinks up 10 ideas. But it’s the 11th idea that’s always best,” he quips.

From the time he was a child, Mr. Fukuda always wanted to be a manga artist. Then when he was in college he saw the “Graphic ’55” exhibition, after which he became enamored of the realm of graphic design. Later, after discovering the works of Bruno Munari, he came under the influence of the Italian designer’s “philosophy of play,” ushering in Mr. Fukuda’s unique creations making use of visual tricks.

From early in his career, Mr. Fukuda captured many prizes in international competitions, perhaps most famously for his “VICTORY” poster of 1975. He went on to establish a solid reputation as a poster artist of global importance.

“Pass under the Hurdle” will introduce Shigeo Fukuda’s works, from his creative debut up to the present, at Recruit’s two venues. Creation Gallery G8 will focus on his three-dimensional works from the 1960s and ’70s: toys, trophies, small sculptures and such. Also on display here will be works that served as motifs for his posters. Guardian Garden will spotlight 50 of Mr. Fukuda’s “best posters,” selected by the designer himself, from among the roughly 3,000 he has created to date. His idea sketches will also be on display.

We believe that this chance to view Shigeo Fukuda’s rarely seen three-dimensional works, idea sketches and the like will serve as a precious opportunity to look back over the long creative career of this prolific graphic artist.

  • 1965

  • 1973

  • 1981

  • 1965

  • 1975

  • 1975

  • 1984

  • 1987

  • 1988

  • 1986

  • 1995

  • 2004

Shigeo Fukuda

Shigeo Fukuda was born in Tokyo in 1932. He graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, with a concentration in Design, in 1956. He has created posters for many public events in both Japan and abroad, including the official poster for the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka, and has also participated in signage and other design planning. Mr. Fukuda has won prizes at, or served on the judging panels of, international poster competitions in Czechoslovakia, Poland, the United States, France, Finland, Bulgaria, Russia and Mexico. His awards received to date include: Minister of Education Fine Arts Award for New Artists (1976), Mainichi Art Award (1986), New York ADC Hall of Fame (1987), Ministry of International Trade and Industry Person of Merit in Design Award (1997), Medal with Purple Ribbon (1997), Iwate Prefecture Person of Merit Award (2001), New York SVA Master Award (2002), Tokyo ADC Hall of Fame (2006). Mr. Fukuda currently serves as president of the Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA), Japan representative to Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), Japan member of Royal Designers for Industry (RDI), and member of Tokyo ADC. In Japan, he has served as Associate Professor and Visiting Professor in the Design program of Tokyo University of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts; and as Visiting Professor at Kanazawa College of Art, Osaka University of Arts, Nihon University, and Nagoya Zokei University. Abroad, he has served as Advisor at Tsinghua University (China), Visiting Professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University (Xian, China), Visiting Professor at Sichuan University (Chengdu, China), Professor Emeritus at Jilin University of Arts (Changchun, China), and Professor Emeritus at Tung Fang Institute of Technology (Taiwan).

Exhibition Profile
Venue 1: Creation Gallery G8
Exhibits will focus on toys, small sculptures and other three-dimensional works, and also include works that served as motifs of Mr. Fukuda’s posters.

Venue 2: Guardian Garden
On display here will be Mr. Fukuda’s “50 Best Posters” self-selected from his more than 3,000 posters created over the years, as well as a selection of his idea sketches.

Interview Brochure
To complement this exhibition, a brochure has been prepared containing a long interview with Shigeo Fukuda in which he describes the milestones of his life and career from his childhood up to the present. He also explains his ideas and approach to design.
A5 size (148 x 210mm), monochrome, approx. 60 pages. Price: JPY 500.

Message from the Artist
“Time Tunnel? I’m just showing 60 years along the way!”

Turn around and look back at the path I’ve traveled? Not me. For one thing, I’m still chasing my creative goals. Plus, I have no intention of halting for a moment along this fascinating and fun-filled run of mine. I stay on course, taking in the fleet and fleeting winds of change in our lifestyles along the way. And with the support of my personal and corporate friends and family members who cheer me on, giving me the energy and power that lets me keep my pace, I wave a hand – and just keep running.
Shigeo Fukuda

Creation Gallery G8, Guardian Garden


Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA)