Kohei Sugiura: Graphic Design Methodology and Philosophy

Last night I had the fortune to attend the opening of a wonderful exhibition for the Japanese typographer Kohei Sugiura. The show was organized by Kimya’s former professor and mentor Kirti Trivedi – a friend and former student of Sugiura’s. The show is up for less than a week September 9-13th, so if you are in Mumbai, you really should hurry and pay it a visit.

During the opening, Kirti gave a touching presentation covering Suigura’s biography (and the opening was on his birthday!), portfolio highlights, and some of his fascinating philosophical ideas. His concepts and methodologies are inspiring in special ways – many are radically different from our conventional Western views. I believe there is much that we can learn from him and his thinking. Personally, I’m very excited to read more about him and his work, and he is making me want to visit Japan even more now!

I quite like the quote:

“Human beings stand on the ground and walk with two legs. One leg steps forward. To continuously move forward, to grow and develop, is what we all hope for. That is the role of the front leg.

However, we have two legs. There is the back leg as well. If the back leg is not planted firmly on the ground it won’t provide the strength the front leg needs to move forward. It is only when both legs move alternately, in a joint effort, that we are able to advance.

What is the back leg? What does it mean to step firmly on the ground? The ground, of course, is our heritage of history and civilization. By planting one leg on this vast accumulation of wisdom and knowledge, we enable our other leg to move forward.

Our two legs and their movement – the front leg advancing civilization, the back leg standing on history and tradition – teach us how to live in the present.

When we take another step, the front leg representing the advance of civilization switches roles and becomes the back leg, while the back leg representing history and tradition advances and becomes the front leg. The two legs take turns, and we walk. “Two legs, one movement”: again, we are reminded of the philosophy of “one in two, two in one”.

Osianama & Tao Art Gallery present
Kohei Sugiura:Graphic Design Methodology and Philosophy
An Exhibition on the work of the Master Designer from Japan
Books, Magazines, Posters, Calendars on Letterforms, Videos and Motion Graphics
9th–14th September 2015
11am to 7pm (daily)

Inauguration, 6:30 pm, Tuesday, 8 September 2015
Guided Tours of the Exhibition by Prof. Kirti Trivedi
9–13 September 2015, 4:00 – 6:00pm