Bunpei Yorifuji

Arts Events - September 11th, 2012

Ginza exhibition celebrates artist of Tokyo Metro manners posters

Ever taken the Metro in Tokyo? If so, you will probably have seen the ‘manners’ posters displayed at the stations and on the trains.

The images, which feature recurring characters in situations where their space on the train has been compromised, implore us to be kind and considerate to our fellow passengers – hold the door open and don’t run, don’t slouch over multiple seats or sit in the priority seats reserved for the elderly and infirm and absolutely forget about opening that beer… until you get home.

An iconic image for Tokyo commuters

An iconic image for Tokyo commuters, but just where did the idea come from?

The images remind us every day that taking the metro, however convenient, can never be relied upon to be a relaxing experience.

With striking designs, the posters have gained something of a cult following.

They are so iconic that you probably guessed that they were designed by just one, particularly prolific, person (a different image has graced the subway walls every month since April 2008) but did you know who that was?

Graphic artist Bunpei Yorifuji, who is originally from Nagano, is the man who is doing all the design work, and a new exhibition celebrating “his unique design theory and examples of how he develops it” has just opened at the Ginza Graphic Gallery.

Yorifuji is well known to many Japanese for his series of advertisements for Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) entitled ‘Lessons for Adults on Good Smoking Manners’ and has a portfolio of book cover designs that any artist would be proud of.

The latest show of his work, Summer Homework Project, aims to “probe the sources of the ideas underlying Mr. Yorifuji’s diverse works to date and examines his unique design theory and examples of how he develops it.”

To give such an insight, the gallery has put together a nice selection of his works, and will let you in for free. This is not to be missed.

Where: Ginza Graphic Gallery, five min. walk from Ginza station.

When: September 3 to September 29, 2012. 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m (Closed Sundays)

How much: Free

More info: www.dnp.co.jp/gallery/ggg_e/

Map: Click here.