Makoto Nakamura’s Shiseido— Creating Beauties

Shiseido Gallery

poster for Makoto Nakamura’s Shiseido— Creating Beauties

This event has ended.

The Shiseido Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition Makoto Nakamura’s Shiseido — Creating Beauties, a retrospective on the work of graphic designer and art director Makoto Nakamura (1926–2013).

Nakamura joined Shiseido in 1949, and from the mid-1950s through the 1980s was involved in creating many of the company’s advertisements. In addition to receiving numerous awards, both in Japan and abroad, his work has been internationally recognized, some even landing in the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). This retrospective (the first since his passing) will offer a detailed look back at some of the work Nakamura did during his years with Shiseido.

Among his many achievements, Makoto Nakamura is known for his role in changing Shiseido’s promotional advertisements to feature photographs instead of illustrations. A close look at these efforts reveals that he did, in fact, retain many elements of the company’s previous illustration tradition, but he matched these with innovative printing techniques and bold trimming effects to establish an original expressive style within the medium of photography.

As a company designer Nakamura lived by his professional motto: “One vocation, one company, one life, one advertisement.” “An art director is someone who visualizes the company’s identity ,” he said, and indeed, throughout his whole life he poured his energy into creating a corporate identity for Shiseido. His designs valued “emotional elements that defy quantitative expression… moods… feelings….” In them we find elusive elements like “space” and “senses of things,” elements that emerge from the impossibility of physically depicting everything that is present, and the beauty these ads engendered has come forth as the identity of the company.

This exhibition, which features a number of previously unreleased materials from Nakamura’s own home, explores his creative process and attempts to highlight the deep relationships between his lifelong pursuit of beauty, the company he served, and the designs he created.

[Related Event]
Talk by Hiroshi Kashiwagi (design critic, Musashino Art University professor), Taku Satoh (graphic designer), Shin Matsunaga (graphic designer)
Date: Jun. 22 (Sun) 14:00–16:00
Reservation deadline: Jun. 6 (Fri)
Audience: 200
Please see the official website for reservations and details.



from June 03, 2014 to June 29, 2014


Nakamura Makoto



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