Exhibition information

kyoto ddd gallery 214thExhibition Kouga Hirano and Shobunsha

September 04, 2017 - October 24, 2017

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For roughly three decades between 1964 and1992, Kouga Hirano was in sole charge of the covers on books published by Shobunsha. Indeed, it is a rare feat a single designer to handle all a publisher's output. Shobunsha was the standard-bearer of the counterculture days, and Hirano's unique style blew a breath of fresh air through the publishing establishment.
Here, some 600 of the more than 7,000 titles Hirano Produced over nearly half a century are on display, focusing mainly on his work with Shobunsha.
There will also be around 80 works  printed on Japanese washi paper on display, including distinctive decorative hand written letters; works freshly returned from an incredibly popular exhibition in Taiwan this spring, and many of his theater and concert posters and flyers that have been retouched by Hirano himself, some even with added notes.
Visitors are able to take the book covers in hand-just as if they were in a secondhand bookstore - to see and feel the close bond between books, publishing, cover designers, and the times.

Gallry talk / Opening Party

â– Gallery talk
speaker: Kouga Hirano(Book cover artist)×Sou Kurokawa(writer)
2017.09.04(Mon) 16:00-17:30
venue kyoto ddd gallery
â– Opening Party
2017.09.04 17:30-19:00
venue: kyoto ddd gallery


Kouga Hirano
Book cover artist, graphic designer.
1938: Born in Keijo,Korea(now Seoul),where his father was posted on business.
1957: Entered Musashino Art School, forerunner to today's Musashino Art University. While still a student in 1960, Hirano was awarded a special prize for his worl on Kenzaburo Oe's Leap Before You Look  by the Japan advertising Artists Club, then considered a gateway to success for graphic designers.After graduation, he joined Takashimaya Depaetment Store's advertising department, and later went freelance as a graphic designer.
For nearly 30 years between 1964 and 1992, Hirano served as the solo cover designer for Shobunsha. Indeed, it is a rare feat for a single designer to handle all of a publisher's output. Shobunsha was the standard-bearer of the counterculture in those day's, and Hirano's unique style blew a breath of fresh air thrugh the publishing establishment.
this led to work from other clients, and Hirano's distinctive "decorative text" and dynamic designs graced the covers of some 7,000 books.
In the mid-1960s, Hirano began participating in theater along with Kaitaro Tsuno, his esteemed friend and also an editor at Dhobunsha.
Give his talents, he was drafted to make posters, flyers, and even stage decorations for troupes such as Rokugatsu Gwkijo and the Black Tent Theatre.
1973: Hirano was appointed art director of Wonderland magazine, edited by Jinichi Uekusa, and his vibrant page designs become the stuff of legend.
1978: Hirano joines Suigyu Gakudan, a band foemed by Yuji Takahashi et al, and joined the staff of Suigyu Tsushin, a newsletter reporting on Asian popular culture, finding new outlets for his creativity. The influence of there activities can still be seen in Hirano7s worls today.
2005-2013: Hirano opened Theatre Iwato, a small theater in Iwato-cho in Tokyo's Kagurazaka district.
2014: Hirano relocated to Shodo Island in Kagawa Prefecture.