Exhibition information

kyoto ddd gallery The237th Exhibition Kasai Kaoru Exhibition: NOSTALGIA

May 31, 2023 - July 30, 2023

Designed by Kaoru Kasai
Designed by Kaoru Kasai
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Kasai Kaoru presents his first solo exhibition at ginza graphic gallery in almost three decades. In his previous show in 1992, when traces of Japan’s bubble economy still lingered, Kasai filled the gallery space from floor to ceiling with large works measuring 3 meters by 2 meters created with the theme of “AERO,” signifying air, and rendered on handmade washi paper using NECO inkjet printing. Propeller-like designs that imparted a strong sense of being lighter than air and of exaltation made up a body of works having such an impact on viewers that it transformed the contemporary concepts of graphic design and graphic art.
Since then, Kasai has been remarkably active in a wide range of areas, including handling advertising for major clients such as Suntory Oolong Tea and United Arrows, working on packaging, corporate identity, and signage planning, as well as on book design for novels and collections of poems, graphic design for films and theaters, and video production.
In this exhibition at kyoto ddd gallery, Kasai presents many recent works with the theme of “NOSTALGIA,” which he chose because he likes the sound of the word. Nostalgia in the conventional sense conveys a longing for places and times gone by. It was also the title of a film by Andrei Tarkovsky. But to Kasai, nostalgia connotes “a fascination with things that have no meaning or that you don’t understand—and with what lies deep inside them.” He states that this feeling is produced from working with his hands—from the convergence of smells and sounds reminiscent of old times that come from doing things like using rulers, making calligraphy ink with an ink stick, squeezing paint out of tubes, and sharpening pencils. It awakens ancient, primitive feelings that dwell within the body. For Kasai, the joy of editing fragments of creativity that well forth through his own hands (the universe) conjures up nostalgic feelings.
In addition to new works, the basement-level gallery presents other aspects of the artist’s multifaceted creativity, focusing mainly on book designs, but also including products and artistic objects. In the Library on the second floor, visitors can also view the masterpiece of the poster and the edited video of all of a part of the CM work directed by Mr. Kasai.
The works presented hold many hints about how to get through the coronavirus pandemic and the edgy digital age that we live in. Modern-day society is in the process of losing humor and pathos, and intelligence and innocence. This autumn, experience a world of nostalgia as envisioned by Kasai Kaoru.

Kasai Kaoru

Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture in 1949, Kasai Kaoru joined SUN-AD Company Limited in 1973 after stints working at Bunka Printing Co., Ltd. and Ohtani Design. He currently serves as advisor at SUN-AD Company Limited. His creative activities span a wide range, including advertising and art direction for Suntory Oolong Tea, United Arrows, Toraya Confectionery, and TORAYA CAFÉ, as well as corporate identity and signage, graphics and title design for films and theaters, and book design. Major awards received include the Tokyo ADC Grand Prix, Hiromu Hara Memorial Prize, Mainichi Design Award, and the Yusaku Kamekura Design Award. His publications include KASAI Kaoru 1968 (Art Design Publishing).


SUN-AD Company Limited


NOSTALGIA  Kasai Kaoru / Primo Art


Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.(6:00 on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays)
Closed: Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a national holiday or a substitute holiday)
※The gallery will be open on July 17, since it is a national holiday, and closed the following day, Tuesday, July 18.

A short walk from the Shijo Karasuma City Bus stop, Shijo Station on the Subway Karasuma Line (exit 2), and Karasuma Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line (exits 23 and 25).
Free entrance. No parking.