The 20th Yusaku Kamekura Design Award NAKAMURA Norio

Award-winning work: Publicity poster and exhibition posters for solo exhibition (org: Creation Gallery G8)

Message from the awardee

When I was just starting out, a mere 23 years old, I somehow managed to win a Mainichi Advertising Design Award, and at the awards ceremony at the Imperial Hotel I saw Yusaku Kamekura. In my excitement, I impudently rushed over and asked for his handshake, and he affably responded with a friendly smile. His hand was warm and soft. Being a vapid young squirt with nothing in particular to say to someone of Mr. Kamekura’s caliber, I was nonetheless thrilled by the notion that, with this glorious first contact, I had taken my momentous first step into the world of graphic design. But as I proceeded to gaze at the many award-winning works and their creators at this dazzling event, my excitement gradually withered with the realization that I hadn’t yet started anywhere. I remember quite well how, on the spot, I told myself I should go back to my office and get to work, and I plodded my way back from Ginza. That one handshake was my first, and last, contact with the luminary among luminaries in the realm of Japanese graphic design. It was a handshake that, in retrospect, seemed to be both welcoming and also gently repellent. I wonder what Mr. Kamekura thought of the cold hand of this shallow young bloke.
Winning this award in his name now, many years later, is an honor I surely don’t deserve. Yet at the same time, for some reason, welling up inside me I sense the same feelings as that day when, treading in despair back from Ginza, I focused on my future. Mr. Kamekura always sought to create something new, something that would relate to the world through design. The warmth I felt in his hand that day still lingers in mine. I am more determined than ever to strive for better and better work.
I wish to express my deep appreciation to everyone who was involved in the exhibition that provided the background to my winning of this award.

Norio Nakamura

Norio Nakamura

Norio Nakamura was born in Kawasaki, Kanagawa. On graduating from the College of Art of Nihon University, he initially worked at CBS Sony (now Sony Music Entertainment) before going freelance in 1997. His main works include: “Measuring: This much, That much, How much?” exhibition at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT; window displays for Ginza Maison Hermès; graphic works for the Matsuyama City Shiki Memorial Museum, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Kokoku Hihyo advertising critique magazine (1999), and the art unit “Maywa Denki”; the “I.Q.” PlayStation video game, created with Masahiko Sato; and the animated film “Tetopetenson” for NHK’s “Minna no Uta” (Songs for Everyone) program. Mr. Nakamura has published a number of books, including collaborations with Masahiko Sato and Nobumichi Tosa, on advertising and other topics. His children’s picture book Dottoko Zoo won BolognaRagazzi “Special Mention” Award. 

Publication: Graphic Design in Japan 2018 (June 2018)