The 11th Yusaku Kamekura Design Award UEHARA Ryosuke

Award-winning design: Fashion brand “THEATRE PRODUCTS” graphic tool (cl:Theater Products)

Message from the awardee

The first time I saw the works of Yusaku Kamekura first-hand was at an exhibition held several years ago at Creation Gallery G8. In those days I was feverishly striving to make things on small scale, but when I saw Mr. Kamekura’s works before me,
I was overwhelmed by their power, leaving me both amazed and disheartened. At the same time, however, I remember leaving the exhibition with an indefinable sense of hope toward the future. What I learned that day, I think, was, in addition to the profundity of design itself, the fact that engagement in design work inevitably gives rise to involvement with society.
I never imagined, though, that, so soon thereafter I would receive a major award such as this one.
In the creative process, we tend to focus on the details and often end up agonizing over them in solitude. Anguishing in a state completely shut off from society is akin to the ascetic training of a monk under a raging waterfall, and we tend to misconstrue design to be something that causes anguish.
By contrast, design born from involvement with society has something cheerful and powerful about it. And yet, at the same time such design works, I believe, in many cases are lacking in attention to detail, to the extent that we quickly become bored by them. In many of the works by Mr. Kamekura that I saw at the exhibition, I sensed both interest in detail and involvement with society, and I remember being shaken to the core as a result.
In my work for “THEATRE PRODUCTS,” the company’s intense feelings toward society have taken shape. To continue to make it on one’s own in the world of fashion demands hard work on unimaginable scale, and with the light shed on this work by receiving the Yusaku Kamekura Design Award I know for certain that this work is the end product of their sweat and tears.

Ryosuke Uehara

Ryosuke Uehara

Born in Hokkaido in 1972. Graduated from Tama Art University, Department of Graphic Design, with a major in textile design. Currently employed at Draft Co., Ltd., where he is involved in the D-BROS Project. He has been involved in the design of such D-BROS products as the “Hope Forever Blossoming” line of flower vases and the “Hotel Butterfly” line of products inspired by an imaginary hotel. Since 2006, he has served as art director handling all graphic work for the “THEATRE PRODUCTS” fashion brand and “THEATRE MUSICA” music label. His other major clients include Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd., une nana cool corp. and Smiles Co., Ltd. His full range of activities is remarkably broad. In 2007 he collaborated with Yoshie Watanabe in producing the short film “Yokubo no chairoi katamari/Brown Morsels of Desire” for the “chocolate” exhibition at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT; the same year they also collaborated on the “SPACE FOR YOUR FUTURE” exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. In October 2008 he and Ms. Watanabe jointly held the “SPECIMEN OF TIME” exhibition at AMPG (Azuma Makoto Private Gallery). Among his many awards received to date are Tokyo ADC Awards, the JAGDA New Designer Award, the Tokyo TDC Award, the New York ADC Award Gold Prize and the Warsaw International Poster Biennale Silver Medal.
(As of December 2008)

Book containing the design: Grahpic Design in Japan 2009 (to be published in June 2009)