Kaoru Kasai: Nostalgia

Kaoru Kasai_ Nostalgia banner photo

The Ginza Graphic Gallery will hold a solo exhibition by Kaoru Kasai for the first time in about 30 years. The last time was in 1992 when the lingering effects of the bubble economy still lingered, and Kasai created a large work (3 x 2 meters) on the theme of “aero,” which means “air,” on washi paper using NECO inkjet printing to fill the gallery space. The work, which looked like propeller blueprints full of a sense of levitation and excitement, gave the viewers a shock that changed their concept of graphic design and graphic art.

Since then, Kasai has been remarkably active in many fields, including not only advertising for Suntory Oolong Tea and United Arrows, but also packaging, CI, signage planning, binding for novels and poetry collections, film, and theater-related graphics, and video production.

In this exhibition, Kasai will present a number of new works under the theme of “nostalgia,” a word that Kasai loves. Kasai defines nostalgia as “an interest in things that have no meaning or are unknown. It is something that lies deep within. And it is born from manual work. Using a ruler, polishing ink, squeezing out paint, sharpening pencils, and so on, there is a congestion of nostalgic smells and sounds. It evokes an ancient, primitive feeling that resides in Kasai’s body. For him, nostalgia is “the joy of editing the fragments of creation” that comes out through his hands (the universe).

In addition to his new work, Kasai’s multifaceted creative activities, including book design, products, and objects, will be introduced on the ground floor venue. In the library on the second floor, visitors can view all of Kasai’s posters donated to the DNP Graphic Design Archive, as well as edited videos of his commercials and other works.

Mr. Kasai’s works contain many hints on how to overcome the current pandemic and the cursory digital age. Humor” and “pathos,” “intelligence” and “innocence,” are being lost in modern society. This autumn, please come and experience the “world of nostalgia” that Kasai envisions.