HAPPENINGText: Alan Smithee

Typography and Calligraphy

Wabisabi 'Black Beauty'

At Cross Hotel Sapporo, Wabisabi, a Sapporo-based graphic design duo, is exhibiting their new works at “Black Beauty – Typography and Calligraphy”. This is an art project organised by the hotel together with our Shift magazine in order to introduce artists from Sapporo and Hokkaido, by means of a hotel. Exhibition shifts every three months, summing to four times a year. This is the second one from this a-year-long project.


In contrast to the colourful world in the previous exhibition by Go Yayanagi from Obihiro, Hokkaido, this time Wabisabi’s new works are presented in monochrome. Wabisabi’s contemporary graphic art with a Japanese-style feeling matches well with the Cross Hotel Sapporo’s modern and stylish interior.


Wabisabi was formed in 1999 by Ryouhei “Wabi” Kudo and Kazushi “Sabi” Nakanishi. Their production spans over diverse fields such as advertisement, graphic design, object, film, and interior. Wabi supervises Deza-in Co. Ltd., an agency Wabisabi belongs to, and is also active as a musician playing bass in his band “Miroku Journal”.


In this exhibition, their acclaimed original typography “Hormone”, calligraphy series “Guitar” and “Bonsai”, and a new series “Ka-ou”, are displayed at Cross Hotel with their new and old works together. Including their “Air Bonsai” which won the second prize in Tokyo Midtown Design Award, their goods are also on display and available for sale.


This project is held as part of “Machinaka Art Project“, which aims to provide more chance to experience art within the city. Galleries in Sapporo and SHIFT work together in this project, and exhibit artworks in public space such as restaurants, hair salon, and hospital, to make people more familiarised with art. By presenting art works with good quality, it has an aim to raise more general interest in art, leading to gallery visits and purchasing the art works


For travellers, hotel is an entrance of the city. It is an ideal place to introduce the city’s culture including art. Experiencing art works from the city at such a place, it leads to an overall impression of the local art culture. It would be both crucial to create an opportunity and keep providing them with good quality. We would like to pay an attention to their further activities.

Wabisabi “Black Beauty”
Date: September 9 – November 30, 2011
Place: Cross Hotel Sapporo
Address: North 2 West 2, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Curated by SHIFT
Sponsored by Cross Hotel Sapporo 011-272-0051 (Planning Department)
Supported by Clark Gallery, Machinaka Art, Syoubunsya Co. Ltd.
In cooperation with Sapporo Pre-Biennale Contemporary Art Exhibition

Text: Alan Smithee
Photos: Ryoichi Kawajiri

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