kyoto ddd gallery the 229th Exhibition Takeshi Kojima: One Dream
July 24, 2021 - September 25, 2021
Takeshi Kojima, an extraordinary illustrator who passed away in 2009, left behind many works. “I still see myself as a staunch child of the Sixties." As this comment he made in an interview in the May 2002 issue of Record Collectors' Magazine suggests, Kojima was truly a child of the 1960s. At the age of 22, he started out creating posters for screenings and performances at Art Theatre Shinjuku Bunka, the birthplace of Japan’s 60s counterculture. Later, he became deeply involved with musicians. Among other endeavors, he helped to launch the record label FOR LIFE RECORDS with Hitoshi Komuro of the band Rokumonsen and singer Yosui Inoue.
According to book designer Kouga Hirano, while sorting through the vast amount of work Kojima left behind, his eyes were drawn in particular to the invigorated style of his manga and his superb drawn lettering. In the words of Kojima himself, “Everything I draw is an illustration.”
This exhibition displays Kojima’s works as images on slides and light tables. Visitors can learn about his unique method of drawing one motif repeatedly and combining it with different backgrounds, as well as his creative process of making pencil drawings and making multiple copies of them to deepen their color, or cutting up illustrations and making collages on top of other drawings.
Born in Manchuria in 1940. After being repatriated to Kitakyushu, Kojima lived in Hakata until high school, where he became immersed in cinema. He moved to Tokyo, where he attended Kuwasawa Design School. His illustrations and graphics cover a wide variety of genres, such as music, the stage, advertising, and publishing. From 1962, Kojima worked as a freelance illustrator, and in 1993 he was presented with the 24th Kondansha Publishing Culture Award in the Illustration category. His major works include projects with Art Theatre Shinjuku Bunka, Hitoshi Komuro, Yosui Inoue, and Wataru Takada, and his art has featured on the cover of Number magazine, as well as in Hanashi no Tokushu, New Music Magazine, Shosetsu Shincho.
I first met Takeshi Kojima in the mid-1960s, when I was asked to provide background music for a fashion show at Delta Monde an advertising agency he belonged to which was located in Harajuku’s now-legendary Central Apartment, a hub for youth culture back then.
From then on, I was a frequent visitor to his office, spending a lot of time in his design studio watching the world's cultural trends play out before my eyes. Later, I asked Kojima to design over ten albums for me, the first of which was for P.P.M. Followers, a folk group I belonged to at the time.
(Hitoshi Komuro, musician)
For me, Takeshi Kojima's drawings are all about the lines. These lines were what first drew me to his works. But what was it about Kojima’s lines that did it for me?
It all boils down to one thing. It was because they made me dream of foreign lands.
They were filled with an aura that was not that of Japan.
(Kotaro Sawaki, writer)
For most of the 70s, my office was located at Central Apartment in Harajuku.
Kojima's office was also close by, so we often visited each another. One day, I went over to his place to check on the progress of a job I’d asked him to do for me. It was the heyday of the underground scene, and all the works were printed on large B1-size paper. But I hadn’t asked Kojima to do anything that big. Still, he’d drawn a sketch on B1-size paper, and spread it out there and then as if to say, “Now, what d’ya think?” I guess he saw that I was a little taken aback, so he tore up the paper in front of me and grinned. He was a strange guy.
(Kouga Hirano, graphic designer and book desinger)
Venue and dates
Opening hours 11:00—19:00
*Until 18:00 on Saturdays and Sunday, Sptember 19.
Closed Sundays, Mondays and public holidays
*Special opening Sunday, September 19.
organizer / Othere
DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion
Koga Hirano, Kimiko Hirano