Komura Settai — Illustrations, Book Designs & Prints
1 October (Wed) through 14 December (Sun), 2014
The Shiseido Art House hosted a special autumn exhibition, Komura Settai — Illustrations, Book Designs & Prints.
Artist Komura Settai was born in 1887 in the city of Kawagoe in Saitama prefecture. He completed the Japanese painting (nihonga) course at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (now Tokyo University of the Arts). As a student he enjoyed the patronage of author Izumi Kyoka, and in 1914 he illustrated the cover of Kyoka's novel Nihombashi, the first of numerous book design projects he would undertake for the novelist. As a student, Komura studied under Shimomura Kanzan, but his abilities extended past Japanese-style painting alone. His talents extended also to literary illustration, book design, and even the field of theatrical art, including stage settings, costuming, and historical background research. He remained extraordinarily active across a wide range of endeavors from the late 1920s until his untimely death in 1940, regarded as one of the most representative artists of his era.
From 1918 to 1923, Komura was a member of the Shiseido Design Department (the forerunner to the current advertising department), where he worked on Japanese-style designs and also laid the foundations of the “Shiseido typeface,” which the company continues to use today.
This exhibition introduced the diverse charm and appeal of Komura's work through about 80 examples of his work, selected from the Shiseido Art House collection. These include original illustrations drawn for newspaper-serialized novels and hardcovers, book cover designs, woodblock prints, and designs for Shiseido publications and products.