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TAMON YAHAGI -engawa: the open book veranda

  • This exhibition offered visitors a chance to browse through the more than 500 titles Tamon Yahagi has designed to date. In addition to the works themselves, which were arranged in chronological order, also on display were his rough sketches and detailed explanations of his design process. Yahagi also introduced an array of projects, of various scales, he has been involved in through the years. These include: his collaborations with the Indian publisher Tara Books; his launch of Ambooks; his workshops on book making offered to elementary school students; and his travels to places where paper is made. In September 2019, this exhibition traveled to the Nonoichi Calade.

  • ID


  • Exhibition Name

    TAMON YAHAGI -engawa: the open book veranda

  • Period

    March 30, 2019–June 19, 2019

  • Exhibition Type

    ddd exhibition

  • Venue

    ddd Uzumasa, Kyoto

  • Featured Designers

  • Poster Designers

  • March 30, 2019
    Gallery Talk & Gallery Tour
    kyoto ddd gallery

    This Gallery Talk brought together two designers who acknowledge their physical resemblance, like two brothers. Mr. Yorifuji said that seeing the 600 books displayed in chronological order, he got a sense that Mr. Yahagi had "grown." Mr. Yorifuji used to work nonstop more that 17 hours a day. His tae about "Design Golgo" evading a sniper attack by writhing through a dance on the Shibuya scramble intersection is brilliant. Mr. Yahagi's ideal, partly influenced by his having lived in India, is "Mouse Man," who is basically lazy but occasionally makes books. More than art, he is attracted to folk art. When Mr. Yahagi was a child, he thought books were cold and scary, but through his stories as a book designer by chance, he concluded the Gallery Talk by saying he hoped people would enjoy books as books and for what they encompass. In Gallery Tour, using the many books on display as examples, Mr. Yahagi spoke in detail about how particular he is in such matter s as the length on the spine or various binding methods.

  • June 16, 2019
    kyoto ddd gallery, Keibunsha Ichijoji's Cottage

    Workshops were held on three processes relating to book design. Editing: "Let's Make a Photo Book Unique in All the World": In this workshop, young children walked around the gallery's neighborhood, camera in hand, taking photos. Back at the gallery, they then edited and printed them into an accordion photo album of their own design. Binding: "Let's Create the First Book on Earth": Over the course of two days, the participants probed completely new book formats. Their results were amazing: a book made from a nostalgic shopping bag, a folding book made from a single sheet of paper, a book consisting of photos from travel brochures, a book that opens into a configuration resembling stairs, etc. Printing: "Let's Play with 'Bumpy' Prints": Mr. Yahagi provided work gloves for everybody, and any materials were on hand, including non-slip mats and others discarded materials and everyday items. Using these materials of different shapes and textures, cutting and pasting them, the participants made "bumpy" prints with uneven surfaces.

  • June 17, 2019
    Closing Talk
    kyoto ddd gallery

    The encounter of Mr. Miura and Mr. Yahagi around 1999, took place at the shop selling variety goods from India and Thailand operated by Mr. Yahagi's mother. This was a pleasant place, much like the "open veranda" featured in the exhibition title, and Mr. Miura and young Tamon struck up a conversation quite naturally. Tamon Yahagi the book designer is what he is today as a result of Mr. Miura having commented to him, "Since you're good at drawing, why not give a try at books designing?" Og the roughly 600 books featured in engawa: the open book veranda, the catalogue of this exhibition, approximately 350 were published by Shumpusha. Mr. Miura says it's thanks to Mr. Yahagi that Shumpusha has been able to grow, in the same way that Shobunsha has thrived because of Kouga Hirano. At Shumpusha, which specializes in academic books, Mr. Miura always introduces new book designer to the distinctive works designed by Mr. Yahagi. After sharing their various anecdotes relating to books, the two speakers ended the event saying that making books is a job that lets you feel human, affirming the "karma" of humans to be riddled with contradictions.


Photographer: YOSHIDA Akihito

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