Exhibition information

kyoto ddd gallery The 230th Exhibition SURVIVE EIKO ISHIOKA

October 16, 2021 - December 18, 2021

Designed by Hiroaki Nagai
Designed by Hiroaki Nagai
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Sparking a sensation in the advertising world of 1960s and ’70s Tokyo through her work as art director for companies such as cosmetics manufacturer Shiseido, boutique shopping complex chain Parco, and publisher Kadokawa Shoten, Eiko Ishioka (1938–2012) turned the existing image of women on its head and helped lay the groundwork for the growing women’s empowerment of the 1980s. As the 1973 oil crisis spelled the end to the era of mass production and mass consumption that had been propelled by rapid economic growth, the advertising of the 1970s entered an age in which companies sought to differentiate themselves through their corporate image, kicking off with campaigns such as “From breakneck to beautiful” (Mōretsu kara byūtifuru e) and “Discover Japan.” With the emergence of individualistic art directors such as Eiko Ishioka and Katsumi Asaba, advertising began to clearly promote the image of companies, rather than products—in other words, advertising a phenomenon (a way of life or concept) as opposed to a tangible item. Particularly the 1970s series of posters for Parco—which Ishioka created through close but highly tense collaboration with photographers, copywriters, and models among others—and their consistently fervent messages reached levels of expression that wowed both in and beyond Japan, transcending the realm of advertising to enliven that era as bold works of art.
This Eiko Ishioka one man show was originally held at ginza graphic gallery in Tokyo between December 2020 and March 2021. The well-received exhibition has been reorganized specially for the Kyoto audience. The exhibition shines a light on her work in Japan before her move to New York in the 1980s and includes masterpieces of work for advertising campaigns run by companies such as Shiseido and Parco, as well as film and theater posters, record jackets, and book designs that include her own self-authored works. Alongside Eiko Ishioka’s own words, the exhibition has on display artworks and materials that convey her passion for creative design through pieces such as poster works that won the Japanese Advertising Artists Club Award, sketches from her time as a student, and correction instructions and rough concept designs that offer a glimpse into her production process.


October 16, 2021 - December 18, 2021


Opening hours 11:00—19:00
*Until 18:00 on Saturdays 
Closed Sundays, Mondays and public holidays
Free admission


Ryoko Ishioka, Koichi Kawajiri


Hiroaki Nagai (N.G.inc.)

Exhibition composition

Hitomi Nakazawa (CBK Co., Ltd.)

Exhibition visuals

Kidai Kato (motion graphic director) +Naoki Kumamoto (design director) + EDP graphic works (motion graphic design)

Eiko Ishioka

Designer and art director
After graduating from the Tokyo University of the Arts, Eiko Ishioka joined Shiseido as a member of their advertising division in 1961. She distinguished herself with her work on posters featuring actress Bibari Maeda and other such projects, before opening her own agency. In the 1970s, she created and produced a number of groundbreaking campaigns, fashion shows, and book cover designs for Parco, publishing brand Kadokawa Bunko and others. After relocating her base to New York in the early 1980s, she further transcended borders by expanding the scope of her work to areas such as production design and costume design, receiving international acclaim in the form of awards including a Drama Desk Award for set design on the Broadway play M. Butterfly, a Grammy Award for artwork on Miles Davis’s album TUTU and an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She has published the anthologies Eiko by Eiko and Eiko On Stage and authored a book entitled Watashi Dezain (“I Design”) among other works.