USC Pacific Asia Museum
Pasadena, California 91101
Open Wednesday through Sunday 10am to 6pm
Ikko Style: The Graphic Art of Ikko Tanaka
April 2 through August 2, 2015
in The Changing Exhibition Galleries
Focusing on the core of his artistic practice, poster design, Ikko Style will provide a colorful look into how Ikko TANAKA's ideas were visualized and transmitted to a broad audience. Over 30 posters will be on view, all of which are part of the museum's permanent collection and will be exhibited for the first time.
Tanaka's style is provocative yet timeless, drawing visual idioms from his cultural background and redefining them with the collective imagination of the present time. Born in Nara, the cradle of Japanese civilization, educated in Kyoto, the imperial capital and the cultural hub of Japan, and starting his career in Osaka, the city of commerce and art patronage, Tanaka was well situated to be a successful graphic master in Tokyo, an international metropolis.
As a relentless promoter of visual expression, Tanaka strove to achieve universal aesthetic value beyond regional or cultural barriers, which can be seen in his countless designs of posters, logos, trademarks, books and packages. Through his vision, forms drawn from traditional ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) were reduced into striking abstract designs to promote cultural events. Using his aptitude for understanding visual elements from any form, Japanese written characters were transformed into effective and innovative graphic tools. Through Tanaka's celebrated work with fashion designers and corporations including Hanae Mori and Issey Miyake and Mazda Corporation, Tanaka was able to bridge the gap between fine art and the commercial sector.