Wasei no gurafikkusu..?

Cover of ‘Nippon’ magazine, issue 1, 0ct 1934

My Japanese is a little rusty…well it has been seven years since I last struggled to say  ” I have a mother, a father, a bird”, “The time is 3:30” and “I like music…”.

It was an unrequited love, Japanese. The food, culture, Shibuya district, cherry blossoms, kimonos, temples and their moon viewing festival.I loved it all, but unfortunately, it didn’t love me back…the language/grammar side of it anyway.

Without gushing too much, my fantastic bf brought these stunning early Japanese graphics from  the 1920-30’s to my attention. Found on Japanese art, graphic and culture site Pink Tentacle are these contemporary posters and magazine covers from a range of Japanese artists.

'Kite', Takehisa Yumeji, 1926

'Modern Commercial Art', Takehisa Yumeji, 1928

What amazes me even more so then the colour palete and the sharp edges, is the fact this artwork came from a time when Japan had only just recently opened itself up to the ways of the West after 200 years of seclusion.

Prints so modern for their time being created by a country that had only been in contact with the West for just over 60 years. Which sounds like a while, but in the scheme of things, particularly the develoment of skills and application of western design, really isn’t that long at all.

'1940 Olympic Poster', Hiromu Hara, 1940

'Fuji Weekly' cover, Oct 1930

But that’s my little spiel, hope you enjoy the Japanese artwork as much as I did. And shout out to @LCBarnes for the heads up.

'May 1', Hiromu Hara, 1928-29

– made my day


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