DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion



ginza graphic gallery

  • Japanese

The 283rd Exhibition
DNP Graphic Design Archives Collection II
Ikko Tanaka Posters 19531979
January 12 (Tue.) to February 25 (Thu.) 2010

The Ginza Graphic Gallery will open 2010 with the DNP Graphic Design Archives Collection II: Ikko Tanaka Posters 1953-1979.

The work of Ikko Tanaka, influential not only in Japanese graphic design circles but also around the world, has lost none of its luster even today. At the end of 2008 the DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion established the Ikko Tanaka Archives with 120,000 donated examples of outstanding works and other related materials.

Drawing on this archives, 150 posters produced between the 1950s and the 1970s were carefully selected for this exhibition, which tracks the early and middle periods of Tanaka's rich creative life. In addition to masterpieces from the Kobe Workers' Music Association and Sankei Kanze Noh series, there are also many less familiar gems to discover.

The exhibition will be an opportunity both to look back at Tanaka's creative beginnings and to explore the profound appeal of the period of steady development into one of the world's great poster artists.



ginza graphic gallery(ggg)
January 12 (Tue.) to February 25 (Thu.), 2010

Tel: 03-3571-5206
(closed on Sundays and national holidays)
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (6 p.m. on Saturdays)
Admission free

Gallery Talk

With Kazumasa Nagai and Tadanori Yokoo
4:00–6:00 p.m. on Wdenesday, 20 January 2010
DNP Ginza Bldg. 5F. Admission free. Reservations required (70 seats available).
If interested in attending, please contact the gallery at 03-3571-5206.

Opening Party

Date: Tuesday, 12 January 2010 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Place: Ginza Graphic Gallery

Please direct all enquiries and requests for visuals, etc., to:
ginza graphic gallery
(Ask for Ozawa at 03-3571-5206)

Note: This exhibition will also tour to the CCGA (Center for Contemporary Graphic Art) in Fukushima and the ddd gallery in Osaka.

Ikko Tanaka (19302002):

Born in Nara City. Majored in design at the Kyoto City College of Arts (now the Kyoto City University of Arts), graduating in 1950. After working as a textile designer at Kanegafuchi Spinning Co., Ltd. (now Kanebo), Tanaka became involved in graphic design at the Osaka headquarters of the Sankei Shimbun newspaper. During his roughly five years there, Tanaka studied under artist Jiro Yoshihara and was influenced by the work of Yoshio Hayakawa.

Tanaka became a member of the Japan Advertising Artists Club in 1953 and received its Member Award in 1959. In the meantime, he moved in Tokyo in 1957 and joined Light Publicity. A founding member of the Nippon Design Center in 1960, he then established the Ikko Tanaka Design Studio in 1963. In 1965, he gathered together colleagues for the Persona graphic design exhibition and also held his first overseas solo exhibition, in the Netherlands. In the 1960s he expanded into spatial design, working on large-scale events for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo and the 1970 World Expo in Osaka. 

In 1975, Tanaka became Creative Director for the Seibu Retailing Group (now the Saison Group). There, through his work in retail space and environmental design, marks and logos, product packaging, and art direction for theaters and museums, Tanaka provided comprehensive design support for corporate image strategy and brought diverse creative minds together to link the company with the wider world.

Taking an active role in introducing Japanese design overseas, Tanaka served as art director or producer for numerous exhibitions and publications. Within Japan, Tanaka was an active member of the Japan Graphic Designers Association (JAGDA) and contributed to the establishment of creative spaces such as the Tokyo Designers Space, Ginza Graphic Gallery and Gallery Ma.

The excellence of Tanaka's work was recognized early overseas, and in 1994 he was awarded the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon by the Japanese government. That same year, he was elected to the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. In his later years, he received the Asahi Prize in 1997 and the inaugural Yusaku Kamekura Design Award in 1999. In 2000 he was both named a Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government and inducted into the Tokyo Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and remained a leading figure in the world of Japanese graphic design until his untimely death in 2002.

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