-- To commemorate the publication of the Summer Issue for the seasonal edition of the corporate culture magazine Hanatsubaki, the "pink pop! A New Hanatsubaki" exhibition is now on at the GINZA COMMUNICATION SPACE at the Shiseido Ginza Building (3 April - 30 June 2017). I understand that this project was planned in association with the magazine itself.
Kishino: Yes. To begin with, this can be traced back to the origins of the special feature in the Summer Issue of Hanatsubaki, titled "pink pop!" As "pink" color gets attention especially from the youths today, the editorial team of Hanatsubaki has attempted to analyze and understand this generation through the special feature placing its focus on this color. Against that background, discussions started up within the company on the idea of organizing a project linked with the Hanatsubaki magazine. As a result, the decision was made to hold an exhibition based on the motif of "pink," as we did for the magazine.
-- So, this exhibition is the result of communication and collaboration between the editorial team of Hanatsubaki and the Shiseido Advertising and Design Department.
Kishino: That's right. Together with the Art Director of Hanatsubaki, Katsuhiko Shibuya, we talked about how pink is a more diverse color than it was a long time ago, and suggested that it has also become a gentler color tone. There is a giant replica of the Hanatsubaki magazine at the entrance to the exhibition, and the pink hair that was photographed for the cover of this replica is a gentle tone that avoids being overly harsh.
-- The window display on the first floor shows a mannequin with pink hair gazing out of the window, against a background of small objects and accessories including colorful tableware and flower vases.
Kishino: The window display was designed with the everyday life of the girl on the cover of the magazine in mind. Other sections of the exhibition are tied in with the special feature of the Hanatsubaki magazine, while this window display is the only corner that was uniquely designed for this exhibition. The small objects all come in different shades of pink, so do take a closer look.
-- The various objects in the window display, such as the vases and tableware, are marked respectively with numbers, alongside with the message "Think Pink, Feel Pink." When you enter the display area, you will find that 30 variations of pink cards have been placed there. One of the features of this exhibition is that visitors can bring home with them the cards describing the colors used in the exhibition space.
Kishino: I really hope that everyone will be able to find the card for their favorite color and bring it home. Some cards are so surprisingly colored that they make you puzzled, like "What? Is this pink?" Other cards also carry unusual names that you would never think of using to describe a color, such as "mama." I am sure the visitors would make many interesting discoveries.
-- Looking at the reverse side of each card, I see that they contain stories and descriptions of the origins of the names. They offer an enjoyment reminiscent of tarot cards. What was the inspiration behind the creation of these cards?
Kishino: I took reference from the book Kara & Imeji: Iro no Shojiten ("COLORS in Context") (out of print) authored by Naomi Kuno, whom I had met more than 10 years ago. I obtained her permission to use this small dictionary as a reference. The book provides explanations to all the colors one by one, but differs from the "reference books" that present colors through coded numbers and academic information. Rather, the texts used to describe the colors are all emotional, and simply reading them takes me into a dream world. It is a book that I really love.
-- Is your favorite shade of pink one of the colors contained in this book?
Kishino: That is the shade of pink named "mon amie" (meaning "my girl friend). If you read the explanation, it describes this color as a beautiful and gorgeous shade of pink that expresses the sentiment of friendship between women. It seems to embody a woman's wish for a cherished girl friend to always remain as a wonderful woman and be happy.
-- That is wonderful.
Kishino: I think these are poetic texts that stir up your imagination.
-- A large photograph shot by Yoshiyuki Okuyama, for the special feature, which is the opening article of the magazine, is placed in front of the escalator that leads to the second floor of the exhibition space, where a movie about how this photograph was taken is screened.
Kishino: I felt that this special feature captured the intrinsic, natural qualities of women plainly and candidly. That may be why the photograph exudes a natural and gentle feel despite its large size. Apart from the photograph taken by Okuyama, the escalator is also decorated in pink on the way up to the second floor. I hope that visitors will be healed by these soft visual effects and space.
-- A photograph exhibition related to the Hanatsubaki magazine is also held on the second floor, featuring displays such as "My Favorite Pink" photographs, in which famous personalities from various fields reveal their favorite stories related to the color pink, as well as "TOKYO STORY," which is a series of photographs taken at the Shiseido Ginza Building.
Kishino: All the works on display on the second floor are designed to be appreciated in tandem with the Hanatsubaki magazine. For example, the special feature titled "My Favorite Pink" in the magazine itself is a project that features merchandise related to the color pink, selected by famous personalities. At the exhibition space, however, the photographs of these merchandise have been reorganized and put on display without any explanatory texts. Visitors learn about the detailed stories behind these items by reading the magazine.
-- In other words, the enjoyment lies in finding out, by reading the magazine, which of the pink merchandise were chosen by which personalities. How about the other exhibit titled "TOKYO STORY?"
Kishino: "TOKYO STORY" was similarly designed in association with the special feature, and mainly features cuts that were not used in the final magazine article. We consulted with Katsuhiko Shibuya on this project; he supported the idea, saying that there are many cuts that he would like to present in the exhibition. In addition, as "TOKYO STORY" was photographed in this building, mannequins are exhibited to create an atmosphere as if the models are actually present.
-- What feelings would you like the visitors to take with them after viewing the "pink pop! A New Hanatsubaki" exhibition?
Kishino: I hope that they will walk away thinking "Pink is a great color after all." Colors and objects carry various meanings, so I also hope that they will gain an understanding of that, and feel emotionally and spiritually enriched by that. In truth, the time taken from the conception to the completion of this exhibition was very short, only about 1.5 months. Nevertheless, the appeal of the color pink has been a driving force for all members of the staff, and I feel that it has brought us closer together in unity.
-- As for yourself, have you reaffirmed the appeal of pink through this exhibition?
Kishino: Yes. Having come up close and personal with pink through this project, I realized that pink really invigorates and inspires people. Furthermore, having the opportunity to work with Hanatsubaki, a magazine that I have always admired, was also very motivating.
-- In the future, are there plans to continue organizing exhibitions in association with Hanatsubaki?
Kishino: There are no concrete plans yet, but I definitely hope that we will. Through the exhibitions that I produce, I believe it will be fun to approach textures, scents, and physical elements that cannot be communicated only through media formats such as paper and the Internet. I place great value on the "power of the space" precisely because we live in a world with values that are becoming increasingly diversified. In the future, the day may come when deep meaning emerges from the values and other things that can be shared only among those who visit the space.