November 16, 2016

Tokyo TDC 2016 exhibition

On my recent trip to Japan I was lucky to catch the annual TDC exhibition in Tokyo. Having stumbled upon the Ginza Graphic Gallery (GGG) on one of my earlier trips I am always eager to see what they are showing while I am visiting Tokyo. I had previously caught a couple exhibitions at the GGG including the 2103 TDC exhibition so I was thrilled to learn that this year my trip would coincide with the 2016 TDC exhibitions, the exhibition was announced after I had already planned my trip so it was quite fortuitous.

While checking the opening dates I learned that the day following the launch there would also be a Tokyo TDC day – six hours of lectures form the winners of each category – held at DNP building in Gotanda. Upon enquiring about tickets I was told that entry was ¥3000 – roughly $35AUD – but the TDC contact regretted to inform me that talks would only be translated from English to Japanese and not vice-versa, due to this fact that would like to offer me a ticket for free! Japanese hospitality and service never fails to impress me.

Above: The GGG Tokyo TDC 2016 exhibition exterior. Image © Harley Johnston

If you haven’t been to Ginza before it is a well kept area of Tokyo city with wide roads and footpaths, lots of high-end department stores and large fashion outlets. Behind the main roads – as with most areas of Tokyo – there are narrower tree-lined streets. It’s here that I first stumbled upon the GGG by accident. The GGG is a two story gallery – entry is at ground level with a lower level also – housed in a  tall office building that offers free entry to the public and sponsored by the DNP,  One of Japan’s biggest  printing companies. The GGG hosts numerous exhibitions though out the year usually highlighting different areas of graphic design.

Above: Inside the GGG Tokyo TDC 2016 exhibition, ground floor. Images © Tokyo TDC

Above: Inside the GGG Tokyo TDC 2016 exhibition, lower ground floor. Images © Tokyo TDC

The launch on Friday June 3 was a great chance to see interesting, mostly avant grade typographic work from designers from a wide range of countries. The ground floor of the exhibition featured the work of the winners from each of the eight categories, which range from typeface design to moving image, RGB to experimental. It was here that I struck up a conversation with a Danish man who was wearing a royal blue suit and matching blue sneakers, it turned out that he was Henrik Kubel from A2 type, who was the recipient of the pinnacle award for his work on the custom type for the New York Times magazine redesign. On the lower level was a range of work from various countries in different categories from posters to packaging, music videos to a drawing machine, branding to publications and more.

After some time all the guests were ushered upstairs to witness the award ceremony where a man in a bright pink suit MC’d and awarded the winners with certificates while drinks were served. Mr Kubel also received a special one-of-a-kind large green hard case bound book, that the MC joked was extremely expensive to create.

I also was lucky enough to catch the Tokyo  TDC day, I will write about this in another news post.

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