Masayoshi Nakajo "Forgetting makes things easy; remembering drives you crazy"

Shiseido Gallery

poster for Masayoshi Nakajo "Forgetting makes things easy; remembering drives you crazy"

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Masayoshi Nakajo was born in Tokyo in 1933. He graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1956, and later that year joined the staff of Shiseido's advertising department. In 1959 he moved on to Deska, but shortly thereafter turned freelance in 1960. For over forty years he was involved in the art direction and design for Shiseido's Hanatsubaki culture magazine, said to be his most representative body of work. He worked on art direction and design for The Ginza / Tactics Design, logotype and package design for the Shiseido Parlor, logotype and signage planning for the Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building (including the Shiseido Gallery logo), and worked on numerous other projects including corporate identity for Matsuya Ginza Department Store, Spiral Hall, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Nakajo created the pictures for a karuta game cards used on the NHK television program Fun with Japanese, and he has also done cover art for Kurashi no Techo magazine.

Nakajo's unique design philosophy includes his idea that “if you make the graphic attractive, it won't take hold... I just keep driving the creative effort forward, and when it seems to be done, I go and break it. The way it breaks also gives a new sense.” With this philosophy, Nakajo's designs have always leaned toward new approaches and highlighted a distinct sense of presence. And while their sharp attunement to the times lend them a definite modernity, they also bring in a bit of the unique avant-garde expressiveness that stands out even in the design world, and is still influencing younger generation of designers.

This exhibition coincides with the renewal of Shiseido's culture magazine Hanatsubaki and Nakajo's departure from his art direction activities there, and it will certainly receive attention as one aspect of that new direction.

This show will feature about thirty of Nakajo's recent works, divided into themes, and will highlight the logotypes, surrealistic landscapes, and new fonts characteristic of his work. Additionally, a number of byobu folding screens will also be produced and displayed. The title of the exhibition, too, comes from Nakajo's oft-quoted sayings and his unique sense for language.

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From 2012-06-23 To 2012-08-12

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