Young graphic designers have typically built up their careers doing work for major clients and garnering awards in design competitions. But Ryu Mieno has taken a different path, based on his unique, alternative work stance. What sets him apart is that Mieno, based in Kyoto, only does work that he wants to do, relying on a network of his contemporaries. His activities go beyond the limits of design and art and include operation of VOU, a gallery cum designer merchandise shop, and involvement in the performing arts. Everything he does is filled with a sense of raw handmade creativity and youthful vitality. This exhibition showcased almost all of Mieno's work to date.
Graphic West 8: Ryu Mieno Solo Exhibition 2011-2019 “Quibble.”
November 09, 2019–December 21, 2019
ddd Uzumasa, Kyoto
November 09, 2019
Gallery Talk & Gallery Tour
kyoto ddd gallery
Mr. Ohara has been an acquaintance since Mr. Mieno showed him a file of his rough designs in Kyoto in 2012. Mr. Iguchi, who resided in Kyoto until recently, in his works adds motion to the writing Mr. Mieno provides him. Mr. Ohara lauded Mr. Mieno saying that whereas earlier his style gave the impression of the "line drawings" brushstroked on a white background, recently hie "background" has become stronger too, creating an environment for his writing to be truly vibrant. He attributed this to Mr. Mieno’s athletic prowess derived from his participation in avant-garde dance performance. Mr. Iguchi offered that people Mr. Mieno works with from his style. When he pointed out that the exhibition title 'in Japanese, "The Complete Works of Ryu Mieno ") is something normally reserved for use posthumously, Mr. Mieno replied that virtually all his works from the past eight years or more were on display, affording him a chance to review his own work history. His closing remark was that he was eager to see how his own style would change in the coming years, making reference to animal, plants and their environment that pique his interest.
December 21, 2019
kyoto ddd gallery
The discussion began with Mr. Takada noting how Mr. Mieno's poster had won the online ADC competition. He said his eyes lit up on seeing works at this exhibition that he was unfamiliar with. Mr. Takada then asked where he derived his passion for typography, to which Mr. Mieno replied that in those days he couldn't afford to buy fonts, and even if he had them he wasn't good at using them; that plus his desire to stand out from the crowd, inspired him to create his own. The graffiti-like aspect of his works was influenced, he said, by his live painting performances he did once a week during his student days. Mr. Takada said that even now designing unstable triangles is muscle training to develop his physical sensitivity. Mr. Mieno's designing of friends' poetry and photos once a month is, by way of training, close to that. Mr. Harada said he is interested in design that can't be designed by AI, to which Mr. Takada added that he wished for AI that could instantly change human-made design in unexpected ways. He said that in Mr. Mieno's works he sensed the ability to take what one thinks should be done, then do the opposite to produce unexpected effect.
Photographer: YOSHIDA Akihito