Exhibition Archive

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The151th Black and White Posters

June 29, 2006 - July 28, 2006

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Originally the exhibition Black and White was conceived for a Swiss audience, but soon we realized that it was predetermined to be shown in Japan. Our friends at the ddd gallery perfectly felt this intrinsic urge and they made possible a second venue in Osaka. When we were searching for posters that could fit in our exhibition project, it was no surprise to find such an impressing amount of excellent Japanese posters. As we know the preference for black and white is deeply rooted in the long tradition of calligraphy and ink painting. However, our research carried us away, beyond graphic traditions into the question under what circumstances designers today consciously opt for the black and white system. Corresponding to this question a selection of mainly western examples was made especially for Osaka. As Lars Müller pointed out in his essay: black and white does not just happen, it is always based on the designer's decision. A designer's eye trained in black and white knows how to exploit these possibilities, wherever he may come from. The exhibition was thus not just a presentation but it put designers and audiences in the way of communicating, beyond cultural borders. And indeed, it was intense and moving to experience that effortless meeting of western and Japanese experiences on the day of the opening. Felix Studinka, Former Curator of the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, Plakatsammlung