Design & Consumerism of Modern Japan

A presentation about Japanese graphic design history

I put together this presentation for the series Following Traces: Spinning East Asia for the Center for Heritage Arts + Textiles in Hong Kong. I was joined for the presentation by interlocutor Sakura Nomiyama, curator at Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

The presentation addresses the career of legendary Tokyo designer Sugiura Hisui (1876-1965) and examines the relationship between business and design from an economic and cultural perspective.

Through years-long research about Sugiura Hisui, I analyzed the rise of consumerism in Japan, how kimono fabrics were marketed to the masses, and the veritable interplay between Japanese and Western aesthetics.

A number of previously unpublished images of Sugiura’s projects, some of them extremely rare — all delivered in formats accessible to experts and the general public alike.

The presentation features a number of stopping points where Sakura and I discussed aspects of Sugiura’s career and contexts at length.

Y0ou can view the presentation here: