1. TOP
  3. Mizumaru Anzai Exhibition


Mizumaru Anzai Exhibition

  • DATES : Fri. October 17 - Thu. November 20, 2014
  • HOURS : 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Closed Sundays and holidays. Admission free.

Mizumaru Anzai was widely admired and loved for his warm and somehow humorous illustrations created from simple lines and colors. Prolific not only in illustration but also in fields including manga, essays, fiction, picture books and translation, he was working at his desk on March 17, 2014 when he was suddenly felled by a brain hemorrhage. Two days later he passed away, aged 71.

Upon graduation from university, Mr. Anzai joined Dentsu as an art director. After subsequent posts at a design studio in New York and then at Heibonsha, he went freelance in 1981. It wasn’t until he was in his thirties that he became an illustrator. Simultaneous with his active career in illustration, Mr. Anzai also devoted his energies to promoting the development of the vocation of illustration and to the education of the younger generation, his positions including instructor at a university and illustration school and service as administrative director of the Tokyo Illustrators Society.

This exhibition brings together approximately 300 works, with a focus on original drawings, from Mr. Anzai’s vast output spanning four decades. Items on display will include early illustrations from “Ao no jidai” [Blue Period], magazine covers and illustrations, numerous works created in collaboration with Haruki Murakami, picture books, manga, essays, exhibition works, etc. In addition, rare works created during his youth and university days will also be on show.

Mr. Anzai always believed in “not trying too hard” when creating illustrations. He said that if you can’t draw without putting lots of effort into it, then you need to study more. We eagerly invite you to come see a treasure of numerous works by an artist who created illustrations without trying too hard, forever true to himself.

Mizumaru Anzai

Illustrator Mizumaru Anzai was born in Tokyo in 1942. After graduating from Nihon University with a concentration in design, he worked as art director at Dentsu, the ADAC design studio in New York, and Heibonsha before going freelance. He received the following awards: Asahi Advertising Award, Mainichi Advertising Design Award, Japan Graphic Arts Show “Outstanding Artist of the Year Award” (1987) and Kinema Junpo “Readers’ Choice Award” (1988). He wrote numerous picture books, manga, essays, stories, etc., including: the short story collection “Amaryllis,” the illustrated essay anthology “Oishii ka koishii ka” [Delicious or Beloved], and the translated works “Manatsu no kokai” (Truman Capote’s “Summer Crossing”) and “Harry’s Bar” (Arrigo Cipriani). Mr. Anzai was a member of the Tokyo Illustrators Society, Japan Graphic Designers Association, The Japan Writers’ Assocation and The Japan P.E.N. Club; he also served as chairman of both the Japan Snowdome Association and Curry Rice Association. He passed away on March 19, 2014, aged 71.