Since Yokoo (born in 1936) began producing posters for underground theatre productions that incorporated indigenous Japanese images and natural colors, he has been acclaimed as one of the leading designers in Japan. After first trying his hand at printmaking in 1968, and continuing to work in the genre even after his so-called “painter’s declaration” in 1982, Yokoo has created over 230 prints.
The keywords in this exhibition are “hanga” (print) and “jungle.” The former suggests a “super-print” that transcends the traditional image of the conventional print framework. The posters Yokoo made in the 1960s are also prints, and in section VII of the exhibition, we present some 20 works as examples of the hanga principle. Meanwhile, the word “jungle” suggests the diverse nature of Yokoo’s artistic expression, and juxtaposes the image of a gallery filled with hanga and a tropical rain forest.
This exhibition of hanga provides us with an opportunity to consider the contemporary significance of Yokoo’s artistic opposition to modernism, which placed great importance on thought and logic, and the techniques and history of commercial and fine art. It also gives us some insight into the future of the print medium.