The th Yusaku Kamekura Design Award UEHARA Ryosuke

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

Message from the awardee

I wish to express my deep appreciation for being awarded the Yusaku Kamekura Design Award. Thank you very much.
For the first time in many years I re-read Mr. Kamekura’s outstanding book Dezain Zuiso Ririku Chakuriku [Design Musings: Takeoff & Landing], which I received from him 37 years ago. I discovered the ink of his personally signed autograph had faded over the years. I recalled how I had heard rumors that he was angry at me for not sending him a thank-you note and how, with great haste, I had dashed one off. In one chapter he wrote how, at the age of 19, he had happened upon Staatliches Bauhaus In Weimer 1919–1923, famed for its cover by Herbert Bayer, in a used bookstore in Kanda and had felt that with it his fate had been set. The book must have been of great importance to him, for he always kept it in a glass case, making it impossible to see its contents. Happily, in August 2009 a Japanese translation of the book was completed by Isao Toshimitsu, former president of Oita Prefectural College of Arts and Culture, and published with fortuitous timing in the year celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Bauhaus’s founding. Mr. Toshimitsu writes that it will give him the greatest pleasure as a translator if his book leads to a re-examination of the Bauhaus as one example of the brilliance of the artistic and educational culture of the 20th century.
“Where are we going? And what are we going to do?” These are words we art directors and graphic designers have to ask ourselves every day. We have to give form to things completely formless and convey them to people. It was back in 1989 that Misawa Homes, where research had been under way centered on Kiyoshi Awazu for years, gave birth to its “Misawa Bauhaus Collection” centered on works collected by European collectors. Today the collection has reached some 1,500 works. Though it existed for only 14 years, from 1919 to 1933, no design education has ever rivaled the Bauhaus in the scope of its global influence. Only in Japan can form be given to both what is Oriental and Western. It is with this feeling in mind that I have been creating Bauhaus posters for three years.

Ryosuke Uehara

Katsumi Asaba

Born in Kanagawa prefecture in 1940 and graduated from Kuwasawa Design School. After working at Light Publicity, he started his own design office in 1975. As an art director, he has created numerous posters and commercials of high renown in the history of Japanese advertising.
In 1987, he was a founding member of the Tokyo Type Directors Club (Tokyo TDC). His representative works include graphic advertising for Seibu Department Store, Suntory and Takeda Chemical Industries, the official poster for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, posters for Misawa Homes, and the logomark for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).
Today he is a guest professor at Tokyo Zokei University and Kyoto Seika University; he is also chairman of the Tokyo TDC, a committee member of the Tokyo Art Directors Club (Tokyo ADC), a director of JAGDA, Japanese representative to Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), and chaiman of the NPO Design Association. He is a councilor of the Japan Table Tennis Association and himself has reached sixth rank in this sport. Among his numerous awards to date are Tokyo TDC Prizes, Mainich Design Award, Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction, and the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese Government. In 2008 he held the exhibition “Whispered Prayers”; he won his second Tokyo ADC Grand Prix for the show’s spatial design and “Asaba’s Diary”, which was shown at the exhibition.

Book containing the design: Grahpic Design in Japan 2010 (published in June 2010)