Kiyoshi Awazu, Japan

AGI member since 1966

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Kiyoshi Awazu’s distinctive, often psychedelic, posters remain influential as examples of the Japanese avant-garde scene which grew up in Tokyo, as the country began to re-establish itself after the end of the Second World War in the 1950’s and 60’s. Later, in 1970 he would paint the famous and distinctive ‘supergraphic’ exterior to the Nibankan building, a collaboration with architect Minoru Takeyama whom he had met whilst teaching at the Musashino Art University.

Awazu, self-taught as a painter, began designing posters and advertisements for films released by the Japanese studio Nikkatsu, forging a substantial reputation and being recognised with a number of awards throughout the 1950s; including the Japan Advertising Artists Club Award (1955) and the Grand Prix at the World Film Poster Competition (1958). Throughout his long career, he regularly sought out projects that expanded beyond Graphic Design alone; from film production to exhibition design, and in particular Urban planning and his involvement with the Architectural movement of Metabolism in the 1960s.

In 1990 he was awarded the Purple Ribbon Medal of Honour by the Japanese Government, in recognition of his outstanding artistic merit, and today examples of his work are held in the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), and the Museum of Modern Art (Toyama).

Biography text taken from AGI by Ben and Elly Bos

Design work by Kiyoshi Awazu


    Kiyoshi Awazu, Japan (1966)

    Kiyoshi Awazu’s distinctive, often psychedelic, posters remain influential as examples of the Japanese avant-garde scene which grew up in Tokyo, as the country began to re-establish itself after the e...

    Read full biography
    Kiyoshi Awazu, Japan (1966)

      Kiyoshi Awazu’s distinctive, often psychedelic, posters remain influential as examples of the Japanese avant-garde scene which grew up in Tokyo, as the country began to re-establish itself after the end of the Second World War in the 1950’s and 60’s. Later, in 1970 he would paint the famous and distinctive ‘supergraphic’ exterior to the Nibankan building, a collaboration with architect Minoru Takeyama whom he had met whilst teaching at the Musashino Art University.

      Awazu, self-taught as a painter, began designing posters and advertisements for films released by the Japanese studio Nikkatsu, forging a substantial reputation and being recognised with a number of awards throughout the 1950s; including the Japan Advertising Artists Club Award (1955) and the Grand Prix at the World Film Poster Competition (1958). Throughout his long career, he regularly sought out projects that expanded beyond Graphic Design alone; from film production to exhibition design, and in particular Urban planning and his involvement with the Architectural movement of Metabolism in the 1960s.

      In 1990 he was awarded the Purple Ribbon Medal of Honour by the Japanese Government, in recognition of his outstanding artistic merit, and today examples of his work are held in the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), and the Museum of Modern Art (Toyama).

      Biography text taken from AGI by Ben and Elly Bos