Ann Arbor, MI
In the 1980s, Japan’s strong trade surplus and currency were causing friction and antagonism overseas. In response, three renowned Japanese artists—Ikko Tanaka, Shigeo Fukuda, and Kazumasa Nagai—took on the challenge of changing Japan’s global image through graphic design. In posters promoting trade fairs, cultural festivals, exhibitions, and sporting events, they used a powerful language of simple forms, vivid color, and a touch of humor to foster—both nationally and internationally—a deeper understanding of the different faces of Japan and its long cultural history. These dazzling posters are a fascinating chapter in the history of Japan’s ongoing efforts to shape its identity in the post-World War II era.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.