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Monday, July 23, 2018

Colours that Speak

Fifteen prominent Japanese poster designers’ works come to India for the first time,depicting the country’s economic boom during the ‘80s and the ‘90s.

Written by Pallavi Pundir | Published: May 17, 2013 1:58:24 am

There is a sense of revolution at the Japan Foundation. Enter the exhibition space and one could go back to post-World War II,when Japan boosted their economy and modernised their system. The “economic miracle” saw a new generation of artists reflecting this change through contemporary styles. A strong cultural trend in the ’90s was poster art. This art form comes to India for the first time with works by 15 graphic designers of the ’80s and ’90s.

There are works by Yusaku Kamekura,a pioneer in steering poster art,Kiyoshi Awazu,a second generation poster artist whose work must be viewed in a social context,and Tadanori Yoko,a third generation standard bearer whose unusual antics in graphic designing are well known. “In Japan,we do not see poster art anymore and its cultural relevance is fast diminishing,” says Yusuke Matsuoka,Director,Arts and Cultural Exchange,who brought the exhibition to India.

Showcased worldwide,the works have been curated by Kenshiro Takami,who has authored several books on the culture of poster art. One can see various techniques in these posters. While Kazumasa Nagai uses the abstract to depict animals and the environment,Koichi Sato delves into psychedelic colours and a Japanese version of pop art. Ikko Tanaka’s minimalist designs represent Japan through motifs that are to be “enjoyed by the masses”.

Among the classics is Kamekura’s radical socially evocative posters such as the 1988 Misso for the Bicentenary of the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen,which shows a man behind bars,or Hiroshima Appeals (1983),which has butterflies on fire,falling from the sky. On the other hand,Awazu,whose works take after mythology,folktales and even biology lessons,sees an unabashed use of colours on a map of Japan,among others.

The exhibition will continue till July 31. Contact 26442969

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