The Collection. Kōichi Satō, Kenya Hara

Europe – Far East Gallery
15.02.2019 - 31.03.2019

Exhibition script and design: Anna Król Cooperation: Monika Pawłowska
The third exhibition in the series The Collection showcases posters designed by two outstanding Japanese graphic artists, Kenya Hara and Kōichi Satō.

Kōichi Satō, (1944–2016), prominent Japanese graphic artist and designer; teacher at universities in Japan and the USA; since 1995, a permanent position at the Tama Art University in Tokyo; designed advertisements for many well-known companies; was employed by Shiseido in that company’s advertising department; in 1971 formed his own design practice: Satō Kōichi Dezain Shitsu; has received a number of awards in prestigious competitions (e.g. in Lahti, Helsinki, Warsaw, New York, Essen, Moscow, Hong Kong, and Toyama) and his works are included in the collections of over two hundred museums worldwide.

Kōichi Satō is noted for his skill of harmoniously combining classical Japanese motifs (views of Fuji, calligraphy) with a modern approach to colour schemes and novel technical solutions. In Poland, his works have been exhibited in Krakow, Warsaw, Poznan, Katowice, and other venues.

The collection of the Manggha Museum includes his posters designed for many different artistic events, films, and presentations of traditional Japanese art (tea ceremony, bonsai exhibit).

Kenya Hara (1958, Tokyo), prominent Japanese graphic artist, designer, art theoretician, and curator; one of the founders, and since 2002 creative director, of the acclaimed Muji brand (jap. mujirushi ryōhin). His designs are characterized by minimalism and simplicity, often drawing upon the traditional Japanese aesthetics, which the artist himself describes in four words: sensai (delicateness), chimitsu (meticulousness), teinei (thoroughness or attention to detail) and kanketsu (simplicity). Hara is involved in both commercial design, e.g. for such companies as Issey Miyake, Kenzo, or Suntory, and in designing printed matter promoting Japan during major international events. His designs of invitations for the opening ceremony of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games at Nagano are now considered classic. As a member of the Expo 2005 Organizing Committee, he supervised the graphic design of publications relating to the World Exposition at Aichi. In 1992, he founded the Hara Design Institute, where he and his team have been working on commercial and artistic projects. He has created a number of exhibitions, both at home and abroad. The best-known include: Re-Design: Daily Products of the 21st Century (2000), Tokyo Fiber Senseware (2007), shown in Milan and Tokyo, or Japan Car (2009), prepared for the Science Museum in London, among other venues.

An interesting project which he initiated in 2012 is Architecture for Dogs, a collaboration with well known Japanese architects, such as Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Seijima, or Shigeru Ban. Each participant was asked to create a simple design of an environment dedicated to a dog, easy to assemble, with a view to reducing the distance between canines and humans. Each of the plans was posted on a website for anyone to build at home.

In April 2004, Kenya Hara visited the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology in Krakow to attend the finissage of his exhibition More than a Poster and delivered a lecture on Japanese Visual Communication. Two of the artist’s works were included in the Manggha Museum’s collection: Muji and Uyni.



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