The 80th Graphic Design of Food
March 01, 2020 - June 07, 2020
Eating is an activity essential to all living beings, and what we eat forms the basis on which we build our existence as humans. In recent years, our interest in food appears to be even greater than ever before. As natural disasters of major scale have come to occur year after year, the way of life we have long taken for granted is, with growing frequency, being fundamentally upended. As a result, we are beginning to rethink the foundations on which our lives are built, deepening our interest in food—the source on which our bodies are made. This interest is not limited merely to matters of taste, i.e. a quest for delicious or gourmet food. It extends broadly to considerations not only of nutritional value and food safety, but also of where our food is produced, who produced it, whether it is being traded fairly, and how far food travels to reach the consumer. In addition, globalization and information accessibility are spurring greater understanding of other food cultures.
In Japan, every region has its own highly diverse food traditions closely interconnected with local history, resulting in a remarkably fertile food culture. Today, however, as Japan’s population becomes increasingly grayer and fewer in number, the labor force to support its primary food industries—agriculture and fishing—is shrinking, a situation that casts a pall over the future of the nation’s food production. In today’s world, food is impacted by a plethora of social factors: changes in regional communities, exchanges with different cultures, social inequalities, advances in technology, economic and social globalization, etc. As a consequence, issues surrounding food will inevitably have a critical bearing on how humanity will live and how society will thrive in the future.
Posters and other graphic works provide us a look at numerous representations of food mirroring the times in which they were created. In posters of chocolate products of the immediate postwar period, for example, we can get a vivid sense of the yearning for, and joy derived from, sweet confections. In works depicting fruits and vegetables with great beauty, we can detect the appreciation and respect felt toward the earth that produces them. And in posters that use food as a motif for raising social issues, we are struck by the import of those questions precisely because they so closely affect our everyday lives. Graphic design, an indivisible element of our lives and social milieu, profoundly reflects the images we embrace of food and, by extension, of life in general. Through this exhibition of posters, magazines and other graphic works skillfully created by their designers to convey the power of food, we aim to probe the relationship between ourselves and food in the present day.
Miyata 1, Shioda, Sukagawa-shi, Fukushima 962-0711, Japan
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:45 p.m.)
Every Monday (except May 4), April 30 and May 7.
Adults 300 Yen, students 200 Yen.
Free for young children (through elementary school), senior citizens (65 and over) and the handicapped.
DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion and Center for Contemporary Graphic Art