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Japanese Posters Today

15.06.2007 to 02.09.2007


Under this title, the Art Library (Kunstbibliothek) shows posters from the Archives of Graphic Design of the Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd. in Tokyo (DNP) which has rendered its services to the promotion and the raising of public awareness of the art poster in Japan. In cooperation with six museums in four countries, the DNP presents this travelling exhibition with a total of 158 posters by 24 designers, thus providing a representative cross-section of their archive collection. With the works, selected by Hiroshi Kashiwagi at the Musashino University of Arts in Tokyo, two different generations of designers stand facing each other in imposing fashion.

The generation of masters, connected with names such as Fukuda Shigeo, Tanaka Ikko, Nagai Kazumasa or Yokoo Tadanori, had, from the late 1950s and throughout the Sixties, fused impulses from Western European and North American art with Japanese aesthetics and established a new image of Japanese graphic design on an international basis. The generation of younger designers, on the other hand, for the past fifteen years, has placed more emphasis on an international aesthetic, characterised by the use of digital techniques of design. What their works share, however, is a high level of artistry which manifests itself in the clear compositions and balanced colours as well as in the highest quality of printing. In Japan, more than in other countries, the poster is regarded as a form of art with which the graphic designer presents him/herself to the public. Most of the exhibited posters were originally made for exhibitions and competitions, and less for display on billboards in the public space.

After Munich, Zurich, Frankfurt and Prague, Berlin is the fifth stop of this travelling exhibition which will terminate in Warsaw. In its foyer, the Art Library supplements the exhibition with Japanese posters from its own collection.