Interview #71

Book Corner: “Shiro” by Hara Kenya

PMQ Book Corner

Written and Images by PMQ Book Corner
Translation by Wendy Yiu

A book is like a friend. We understand the world and life, or even observe ourselves through texts, and have a deep realization of oneself that we are not alone. PMQ invites different people from design and culture sectors to recommend a book, so that you can enrich yourselves as book therapy.

Why would you recommend this book?

// Design is more than a skill, but a sense and insight to capture the essence of objects. // Hara Kenya #PMQCorners

Where does Hara Kenya get inspiration from?

Tokyo graphic designer Kenya Hara is internationally-acclaimed for his works include posters, packaging, trademarks, books and numerous large-scale exhibitions. The key that he excels in design than others is because of effective communication. Works that connect people are the result of successful communication. He listens instead of doing the talking much. ""Emptiness"" is the signature of his work. He is the artistic director of MUJI, and he incorporates this aesthetic concept into the brand culture and deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.

This concept of "emptiness" has long embodied in Japanese culture. Whether it is in gardening, Japanese tea ceremony or Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), there is also negative space to allow imagination sets in. Hara Kenya found the core concept of “White” out of “Emptiness”. In his worldview in the book "Shiro", white is not a color, but a design concept. The whole book is also his interpretation of "white".

We are not looking for the "white", we should rather pursue the sensitivity to the influence of modern life. Take garden-cleaning as an example. The man and nature relationship will not be perfectly manifested with the bare skills of the gardener, if it is not continuously wiped and cleaned. Therefore, cleaning to keep the "white" is also a form of aesthetics expression.

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