A poster of my choice / Atsushi Ishiguro (OUWN)

We interviewed the buyers about their work and life after they purchased a poster at POSTERS.

The purchased poster on display
Mr. Ishiguro’s selection:A Piece of Creativity: Order A — Events Unfolding on Paper and Their Traces / Ryosuke Uehara

Atsushi Ishiguro (OUWN) / Born in Tokyo in 1983. After working at MR_DESIGN under the direction of Kenjiro Sano, in 2013 he founded the creative studio OUWN. Apart from his design work, he energetically takes part in artistic activities, exhibitions and production. Examples include the “People and Thought.” project with a theme of “finding questions” about thoughts that have become basic, such as people’s way of thinking and the senses that have become commonplace in the modern age, while keeping design at its core. “OUWN” is a name coined to allow us (OWN) to empathize and share with you (U).

Q. First of all, please share the reason you chose this poster designed by Ryosuke Uehara of KIGI.

A. Simply, I am a fan of Mr. Uehara’s design and wanted to incorporate the effortless and delicate sense of this poster into my office. My own works often use rather bold colors and compositions. I want a take a break from that and soften the atmosphere in the workspace. Also, there is a hope to get inspiration from Uehara’s style and incorporate it into my own.

Q. What do you like about the work?

A. I like the subdued moss green hue used, the way the white on top allows the background color to show through, and the handwriting that adds zest to the look. The motif itself is inorganic, but there is something warm about it. I am also interested in his creative process—for example, how the details such as the cursive letters, which I think are scanned handwriting, look like on the poster.

Q. How does the poster look in the space?

A. I thought it would seamlessly blend in with the surrounding plants and create a harmonious space, but it actually works a bit different than I imagined. The organic shapes of plants, geometric motifs and sharp lines of the poster create a vibrant contrast, which spices up the space.

Q. Please share your memories related to posters.

A. When I was a student, graphic design was in its heyday, and posters by top-class designers, such as KIGI, Masahiro Kakinokihara and other designers from DRAFT, and Kenjiro Sano, Manabu Mizuno, just to name a few, were a natural part of my life. I felt that new techniques and methodologies were being created every second, and I remember myself being excited to see posters being created during that period of time.

Q. Are there any posters that have left a particularly strong impression on you?

A. I loved "K.K.P." poster of Manabu Mizuno, created by collage of imaginary tickets. D-BROS’s calendar is my another favorite, though it is technically not a poster. It looks like a collage of punch-out pieces of papers of different designs appearing on the front and back of a poster. Among advertisements, Toshimaen’s poster designed by Kenjiro Sano was refreshing and left me a strong impression. At that time, there were many works that challenged new expressions while making full use of printing and processing techniques. I really admired them.

Q. How do these posters influence your work?

A. I am always looking for new motifs, compositions and techniques of expression. I often impose some design rules and come up with variations within those rules. In this poster, Mr. Uehara also expressed his theme within designated rules. I am attracted to such an approach to design and hoping to create something new by deliberately imposing restrictions on my work.

Q. You are mainly focusing on client work, while also engaging in self-initiated artistic activities called “People and Thought.”

A. I think I am better at leading the client’s intentions and producing output that is in line with their brand. On the other hand, I also wanted to break free from the complex of not being good at free style design, so I created a place to explore new forms of expression. At “People and Thought.”, I try to create new variations of compositions at random, using my sense of whether or not they are interesting as a guide. Such an approach broadens the scope of my work, and I sometimes incorporate motifs and techniques I encounter in the process into my client work.

A number of works created by Mr. Ishiguro through the “People and Thought.” project. Photo 1: “Light in Your Time” — a vase composed of four acrylic panels that synchronize with the day, time and sunlight, co-created with product designer Yoshihiro Mikami / Photo 2: A catalogue for “Tiger (Cat) Will Knock Down My Vase Tomorrow As Well” — an exhibition based on the Edo period painter Nagasawa Rosetsu’s “Tora zu (image of tiger)” partition painting / Photo 3: Abunotsuru Brewery’s “90 (Bitter) Black” — Japanese rice wine (sake) made by squeezing rice to the utmost limit without polishing it, a method inspired by ancient sake brewing / Photo 4: Posters for an exhibition of a flower arrangement artist. We had flowers printed on the front and back, interfering with the design on the front side by showing it through the flowers, showcasing the interest of printed materials.

Q. What do paper posters mean to you?

A. From the era of one-of-a-kind paintings, through the era of mass-printed posters, now we are perhaps in the era when 90% of the artworks are produced digitally. There seems to be a huge gap between the digital and the real that is incomparable to what existed between paintings and posters. I wonder if it would be possible to bring the two closer, or conversely, let them be at the other end of the spectrum. Looking at artworks through the device allows us to discover something new in their dynamic expression, but I would go so far as to say that digital artworks can be freely altered by the user—brightened or darkened, enlarged or reduced. Paper posters, on the other hand, can appear differently based on the space they are displayed, the impression of their texture, and the angles to be seen. The combination of time, occasion and space makes the same poster feel completely different. Because of the increasing scarcity of printed posters, I think the importance and meaning of the sensations we receive from them is also increasing.

View posters selected by Atsushi Ishiguro