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  3. ○△□ Exhibition 2010


○△□ Exhibition 2010Circle = Keisuke Nagatomo, Triangle = Katsumi Asaba, Square = Masuteru Aoba

  • DATES : Mon. January 18 - Fri. February 19, 2010
  • HOURS : 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Closed Sundays and holidays. Open Saturdays.

This will be the fourth “○△□Exhibition,” the first having taken place in 1985, the year Creation Gallery 8 was opened. The exhibition title was created by the late copywriter Jun Maki. The circle stands for Keisuke Nagatomo, the triangle for Katsumi Asaba, and the square for Masuteru Aoba. Circle, triangle and square are the three basic elements of design, and here they were assigned to these three art directors of identical age who all graduated from the Kuwasawa Design School.

This trio, each engaging in his own variety of work, share a role in having served as leading forces of their generation: Mr. Nagatomo working from an early age mainly in editorial design, a continuous frontrunner in the design of youth culture magazines such as “GORO” and “Ryuko Tsushin,” creating original illustrations for his book designs for the likes of Shizuka Ijuin; Mr. Asaba active mostly in advertising, such as his “Dream Road” for Suntory and “Delicious Life” for Seibu Department Stores, and in the past two decades creating posters making experimental graphical use of his research into Dongba and other unusual scripts; and Mr. Aoba making public service advertising that has garnered numerous awards in international competitions, such as his trash posters for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and his non-commissioned peace posters. In recent years, the trio have continued to expand their activities even further: Mr. Nagatomo demonstrating his supreme talents as editor-in-chief of the design magazine “Kurineta,” launched in 2007; Mr. Asaba winning the 2009 Tokyo ADC Grand Prize for his spatial and graphic design of the exhibition “Whispered Prayers: Asaba’s Diary,” which he directed at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT; and Mr. Aoba attracting attention for his advocacy of ecology and peace through publication, in 2008, of his first essay, “Let’s Plant the Tree of Ecology in Our Hearts.”

The forthcoming “○△□Exhibition” will take place in 2010, the year all three of the featured artists reach 70 years of age. On this occasion they will each display 10 new posters on the identical theme as well as their representative posters from the past. They will also look back over their respective works, the 50 years from their debut as a designer up to the present, augmented by anecdotes and photos from those days.

This fourth “○△□Exhibition” will be a sequel to the first three held in 1985, 1992 and 2000. Besides introducing the latest creative works of this ever more energized trio, the show will provide a precious occasion to delve deep into their respective origins.

Keisuke Nagatomo
“Jantzen” 1967
“Eikichi Yazawa Photo Book” 1978
Tsubakigumi 1993
“Tomokaku Shizuka ni②“ 2004

Katsumi Asaba
Diana Shoes 1978
Seibu Department Stores 1983
“Typography in Asia; A View from Tokyo” 1991
“Asaba’s Diary” 2008

Masuteru Aoba
Tokyo Metropolitan Government 1971
“THE END” 1981
Nagano Winter Olympics 1994
KOSÉ 2001

Ten years since the last time, and these three guys are back, more robust, more freewheeling, more uninhibited and more powerful than ever. For their long-awaited fourth “○△□Exhibition,” Keisuke Nagatomo (the circle), Katsumi Asaba (the triangle) and Masuteru Aoba (the square) all celebrate their 50th anniversary as designers, plus their all reaching 70 this year. For the occasion they will be showing 10 new posters each: 30 new works in all, unfolding a grand picture scroll archiving their half-century of creative artistry. Their collected works, replete with the pride of analog creativity, will shine a dazzling light on their seven decades. So please come, have a look around, and be energized by their energy. See what we mean when we speak of “living” design.
Shinzo Higurashi

Exhibition Overview
The exhibition will feature 10 new posters by each of the three featured artists, i.e. 30 works in all, on a common theme. These will be augmented by an equal number of their representative posters from the past. The artists will also look back over their respective works in the 50 years from their debut as a designer up to the present, recalling anecdotes and photos from those days.

Chronology Book
A chronology in book form describing the seven decades of the featured designers will be on sale. It will contain a total of 720 works. Size: H110 x W170 mm. 108 pages, accordion fold format. Total length: 4m 86cm. 4 colors. Casebound. Price: ¥1000 (incl. tax).

Creation Gallery G8

Kuwasawa Design School, Tokyo Zokei University

Special Thanks

Poster photography: Kazumi Kurigami
Poster art direction & design: Gan Hosoya / Asaba Q
Copy: Shinzo Higurashi
Video production: Shinya Nakajima

●Keisuke Nagatomo
This year, all three of us turned 70. The 10 years since turning 60 just flew, and I have no recollection of what I might have done in those 10 years. Looking back over my blog, I see I ate and ate and ate: almost 10,000 meals in all. Thinking all that eating would surely be the death of me, I’ve also made a routine of walking for more than 10 years now. I’ve easily walked at least 30,000 kilometers so far. I wonder how much I’ll eat and manage to walk between now and my 80th birthday. I look forward to reaching that milestone – again, with all three of us intact.

Born in Osaka in 1939. 1964: graduated from Kuwasawa Design School and joined Nippon Design Center. 1966: received a Japan Advertising Artists Club (JAAC) Award. 1969: founded K2 together with Seitaro Kuroda. 1973: Tokyo ADC Award. 1974: Bronze Prize at Warsaw International Poster Biennale. 1982: “K2 Pyramid of Culture” exhibition (Tokyo, Osaka). 1983: coauthored “Bold-faced Truth” with Seitaro Kuroda. 1984: 15th Kodansha Publishing Culture Award for illustration. Works included in poster collection of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). 1990: “Recent Japanese Posters from the Collection” exhibition (MoMA). 1992: exhibition of illustrations at Tokyo Designers Space. 1993: coauthored “○△□Art Director’s Ideas, Workplace and Establishment” with Masuteru Aoba and Katsumi Asaba. 1996: created 100 posters in commemoration of the centennial anniversary of Osaka Prefectural Tennoji High School. 2001: 22nd JAAC Yamana Prize. 2006: 37th Kodansha Publishing Culture Award for book design. 2008: “Sandwich Silencer” exhibition and, with Seitaro Kuroda, “TORI” exhibition. Also coauthored “Successful Business Card Design” with Tsuneyoshi Noji. 2009: in September, launched serialized column in “Nikkan Gendai” on improving one’s golf game starting age 70. He performs editorial design, art direction for all types of advertising and event space designs, creates illustrations for fiction, and writes serialized essays for magazines. He is also editor-in-chief of “Kurineta” and the monthly “Suツkara.” He is a member of Tokyo ADC, and Director of JAGDA, TIS and Lohas Club. Since 2006 he writes a popular blog.

▲Katsumi Asaba
“Where are we going, and what will we do there?” On my desk I have a globe made of lapis lazuli from Afghanistan that I found in a bazaar in Istanbul. It’s quite beautiful, with a different stone set for each country. It makes me think about the Earth. Dr. Takafumi Matsui is attempting to decode how the Earth came about based on meteorites. With his cooperation, I’d like to create 10 new works on 10 themes concerning vestiges of the Earth. That will be next, after “Whispered Prayers.”

Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1940. After graduating from Kanagawa Technical Senior High School and Kuwasawa Design School, from age 19 he studied typography design for five years at the Keinosuke Sato Typography Studio. 1964: joined Light Publicity, where he garnered attention for his commercial work for Toray, Kewpie Mayonnaise, Yamaha, etc. 1975: established the Katsumi Asaba Design Studio, and since then, as art director he has consistently played a leading role in advertising design in Japan. His representative works include “Delicious Life” for Seibu Department Stores, “Dream Road” for Suntory, “Genmai” Japanese tea for Kirin Beverage, “Alinamin A” for Takeda Pharmaceutical, “Slow Life at Home” for Misawa Homes, the official poster for the Nagano Winter Olympics, logomark for the Democratic Party of Japan, etc. 1987: established the Tokyo Type Directors Club, where, as president, he promotes the Club’s activities. He has also focused on Asia’s diverse writing system cultures and probes the relationship between their written forms and visual expressions. 1990: first solo exhibition, where he showed new works incorporating Dongba, a pictographic script used by China’s Naxi minority. 1991: exhibition on Asian writing systems at the Cooper Union’s Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography. Subsequently his interests have expanded to Arabic, Devanagari (India) and Thai. 1993: served as chairman and gave keynote address at Japan Inter-Design Forum in Yamagata Prefecture. 1995: performed art direction for the first time, for the film “Sharaku” directed by Masahiro Shinoda. Major awards to date: Japan Advertising Artists Club Special Prize (1965), Mainichi Design Award (1980), JAAC Yamana Prize (1989), Tokyo ADC Member Award (1989), Tokyo TDC Member Award Gold Prize (1991), Tokyo ADC Grand Prize (2002, 2009), Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon (2002). Member of Tokyo ADC, president of Tokyo TDC, Japan representative in Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) and chairman of Japan Congress Executive Committee, director of JAGDA. Deputy secretary general of “Enjin 01” (Encourage Japan Intelligent Network) Cultural Strategy Conference, launched in 2001; open college held in Koyasan, Saga, Toyohashi, Aizu, Shimonoseki, Beijing, Niigata, Nagoya, Kochi. Japan Table Tennis Association councilor. Table tennis player (6th rank).

■Masuteru Aoba
A dream-like 50 years. Thanks to Asaba and Nagatomo, it seems like I’ve been able to keep dreaming the whole time, and if possible, I’d like to continue these exhibitions, never awakening from the dream, at age 80 and 90. So I stopped drinking and smoking. Well, sometimes I do smoke, but just a little. To stay healthy, two or three times a week I go to a nearby pool and do aqua walking. And whenever I have to go out to Ginza or Roppongi or such, I make a point of getting home early to talk a walk. Staying healthy is the best “ecology.” As Ikko Tanaka used to say, “What’s most important is health; second, health; no third or fourth; and fifth, sense!” It’s something all three of us – the circle, the triangle and the square – take to heart.

Born in 1939. 1962: graduated from Kuwasawa Design School and joined the advertising company Orikomi, where he was mainly in charge of posters for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. 1969: left Orikomi and established A&A Masuteru Aoba Advertising Production Studio. 1963-64: Asahi Advertising Award and Runner-up Award. 1963: Mainichi Advertising Award Encouragement Prize. 1965-70: Outstanding Train Poster Exhibition Special Award plus 6 times in top 10. 1972: Tokyo ADC Award, Japan Magazine Advertising Award Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards. 1980: second prize, International Graphic Design Biennale, Lahti. 1982: Grand Prix, International Biennale of Graphic Design, Brno. 1983: USSR Peace Poster Exhibition Encouragement Prize; also attended World Peace Conference in Czechoslovakia, for which he created 3 official posters. 1986: created graphics for Japan Pavilion at World Exposition on Transportation and Communication in Vancouver. 1987: Gold Prize at Warsaw International Poster Biennale. 1992: Gold Prize, New York ADC International Exhibition. 1993: created first official poster for 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. 1995: JAAC Yamana Prize. 2006: Medal with Purple Ribbon; also held solo shows in Japan, New York, Los Angeles, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Chaumont (France) and Poland. 2008: published “Let’s Plant the Tree of Ecology in Our Hearts.” Member of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), Tokyo ADC Committee and Mainichi Advertising Screening Committee; director of JAGDA. Judge at 1987 International Graphic Design Biennale, Brno, 1992 New York ADC International Competition and Chaumont International Poster Festival (France). 1993-2005: member of international judging panel of Cresta Awards.