I’ve mentioned this before … But I need art to keep me going. It was one of those days that I just could not bear being at the computer any longer. I looked in my inbox and remembered there was an opening at the Pacific Asia Museum. I love going to that museum. The garden, the collection … Oh, so soothing. I RSVP’d and made my way over to Pasadena for an evening of modern design genius.
I spend a lot of time looking at design online, but there’s nothing like getting up, close and personal to the work of the greats like Japanese artist Ikko Tanaka – one of the most prolific graphic designers in the last 50 years.
The exhibition is exactly what my Excel sheet vision needed. It was a vibrant celebration of ukiyo-e tradition, abstraction and typography all in one space in the form of logos, print ads, posters and books. Tanaka’s style is provocative yet minimalist in execution. I’m always fascinated by an artist’s ability to do this. I tend to over-render my paintings, and was never able to break it down to a simpler form. Just not in my artistic DNA to do it. That would explain why I’m not a graphic designer. Tanaka’s brilliance is the ability to seamlessly combine traditional Japanese prototypes in a very modern way while keeping its traditional grace and beauty.
Muses, when you’re in a creative rut, hit up an art show. Even if it’s not the kind of art you do or are into. In fact, you must go especially if it’s not art you tend to navigate toward. It helps you step out of the box. And if you can find one that’s vivid, even better. Nothing like color and shapes to feed the brain. Tanaka’s show is up until August 2nd.
Thanks to PacAsia for the images!