KAZUMASA NAGAI: FROM NOW TO ETERNITY
30 September - 12 OctoberFree
Presented by Gallery 27, retrospective showcase will take place from 30 September to 12 October 2022 at K11 MUSEA. This is Kazumasa Nagai’s first retrospective in Hong Kong, showcasing with over 100 selected posters and original etchings works since late 1950s.
This showcase seeks to deliver a multi-faceted narration of Nagai with a thematic display in terms of the evolution of his design language in four chapters:
Chapter 1: “LENS TO THE WORLD”
Nagai’s works in the 1950s to 70s were mainly posters for corporations and cultural events, logos, magazine and book covers, which were distinctively geometric and abstract. While working in Japan, the Bauhaus movement profoundly influenced Nagai’s graphic compositions.
Chapter 2: “BEYOND THE HORIZON”
A range of posters created in 1974 – “Graphic 4”, “GQ”, “Kawakichi” reflect Nagai’s distinctive sense of space. These posters show motifs depicting the universe and landscape that express his futuristic worldview.
Chapter 3: “IMAGERY OF THE LIVING WORLD”
From the late 80s onwards, Nagai began producing personal works and focused on depicting animals and plants with figurative expressions as his primary motifs. Centred on the awareness for endangered species and environmental protection, Nagai turned to an emotional appeal that weaves design with social awareness.
Chapter 4: “FRIENDS FOR LIFE”
After making a drastic transition from abstraction to figuration, Nagai continues to explore the motifs of the living creatures with the LIFE series till today. It also marked his creative turn from commercial commissions to personal expression, which centres on the harmony and co-existence of human beings and the nature.
Tracing chronologically, the four chapters trace Nagai’s transformative practice from geometric abstract form in the 1950s – 60s, and experimentation with photo collage in the 70s, to figurative illustrations that he ceaselessly practices till today.
At his age of 93, Kazumasa Nagai is widely recognised as one of the most acclaimed Japanese designers and printmakers in the twentieth century. His early creative works, ranging from commercial branding, national identity, poster to print making, speak for a post-war way of seeing and contemporary design language. He created many iconic commercial designs and posters including Asahi Breweries, Nissin, 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics and Expo 1975 in Okinawa and his signature LIFE series poster. At the age of 93, Nagai continues to draw and work every day, amassing his poster portfolio to over 1000 pieces.
Alan Chan, founder of Gallery 27, said: “From Nagai san, I see a designer’s ceaseless passion and pursuit of innovation. I hope that through this showcase, visitors who love
Japanese design and culture will have a deeper and multi-dimensional understanding of Nagai’s contribution and influence for the design industry, andbe inspired to rethink the relationship with ourselves, with others and with nature at this unprecedented time.”
Prior to the showcase, one of the animals has been extruded into a 1.9 meters tall sculpture display in the middle of the venue. The lovely piece was constructed with the collaboration of House of Design & Art. Visitors can extend their live-themed journey from 2D to 3D experience, and enjoy the best selfie corner.
Meanwhile, a special launch of 5 limited edition collectibles art figures in edition of 30 each, with signed and numbered certificate of authenticity will be open to pre- order at Pop-up Store from 30 September. This is Mr. Nagai first-ever collectibles art figures, also tote bags and cushion covers etc… Do not miss out!
【Create your own masterpiece!】
Until 12 October, all visitors are invited to colour, sketch and make your mark on this retrospective event. Take a seat at our free drawing area by providing several colouring-in pages for the chance to see your drawings come to life. You’ll even get to see your finished work displayed onto the wall! Do not forget to share your creations with us by using #Gallery27xNagai and tag @Gallery27hk to enter the contest. Alan Chan, the founder of Gallery 27, will personally select 10 outstanding works, special gifts will be given out to winners. Families of all ages are welcome to join!
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