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Keiichi Tanaami Dialogue

  • Keiichi Tanaami boasts a career stretching back more than half a century, starting from the 1960s, and today he remains at the peak of his artistry as a leading force of remarkable versatility. This exhibition offered visitors a glimpse at where Tanaami's career has brought him today. Over the years, Tanaami has created works spanning an impressive spectrum ranging from design and illustration to experimental film, three-dimensional works and painting. Collectively, they vividly demonstrate his phenomenal diversity as a creative artist. The respect Tanaami receives today from artists, musicians and fashion designers the world over clearly reflects the scale and weight of his creative career transcending myriad boundaries of creativity. This exhibition featured 18 new prints, animation clips and three-dimensional works, plus a host of Tanaami's collaborations with fashion brands, publications, products, and more.

  • ID


  • Exhibition Name

    Keiichi Tanaami Dialogue

  • Period

    August 28, 2018–October 23, 2018

  • Exhibition Type

    Traveling exhibition from ddd to ggg

  • Venue

    ddd Uzumasa, Kyoto

  • Featured Designers

  • Poster Designers

  • Cooperation

  • August 28, 2018
    Gallery Talk
    kyoto ddd gallery

    The conversation proceeded with Mr. Ukawa asking questions about Mr. Tanaami's more than six decades of creative activity stretching back to 1958, while looking at his vast body of visuals. Mr. Tanaami launched his career when the psychedelic movement was at its peak, and, in tandem with anti-Vietnam War sentiment, numerous works were born. Mr. Tanaami often mixed with "half-art" artists, producing works at the polar opposite of orthodox graphic design. He expanded his scope of creative artistry to painting, illistration, and even animation and experimental film, and he says doing so yielded good results. Starting in 1975, Mr. Tanaami was placed in charge of art direction of the monthly magazine "Playboy," and the first issue quickly went into an additional print run of 300,000 copies. In the 1980s Mr. Tanaami became seriously ill with tuberculosis, and he said that on any number of occasions he saw visions of motifs engendered by the hallucinations he saw fusing his illness, coupled with images of the firebombing of Tokyo that he experienced as a child. He closed this Gallery Talk stating that the source of his prolific production was his lack of other hobbies or pastimes, plus the fact that he as yet feels no deterioration in his eyesight or lower back.

  • October 02, 2018
    Gallery Tour
    kyoto ddd gallery

    Hirokazu Sato, a Professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design, brought along students of his seminar, including many foreign students from Asia, and Mr. Tanaami personally went with them through the gallery explaining his works in detail. His works span an extremely broad spectrum created over a period of more than 60 years, including graphics, illustrations, animations, three-dimensional works, apparel works, and Mr. Tanaami's most recent works created in collaboration with overseas brands, which have garnered great attention worldwide. Among this vast body, he selected a significant number and spoke of how they came to be produced, their background, embedded ideas, production method, etc. Mr. Tanaami's long years of dedication to his work, driven by his enduring curiosity and passion, were vividly conveyed, and the students listened intently, all while taking copious notes in preparation for submitting a report afterward. Mr. Sato closed the session expressing appreciation to Mr. Tanaami for such a precious and rare opportunity to receive explanations, in person, of his works of such diverse genres created over so many years.


Photographer: YOSHIDA Akihito

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