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Internationally renowned designers give talks at poster triennial seminar

     Five internationally prominent designers will be in Hong Kong by mid-April to join the adjudication panel for the "Act ‧ Live – Hong Kong International Poster Triennial 2010" and to take part in a related seminar at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum on April 17. The designers are Kenya Hara from Japan, Mathias Augustyniak from France, Michel de Boer from the Netherlands, David Tartakover from Israel and Kan Tai-keung from Hong Kong.

     The "International Poster Triennial", presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Hong Kong Designers Association, and organised by the Heritage Museum, consists of a competition, an exhibition and a seminar. Now in its fourth incarnation, the event aims to document the new and exciting developments in poster design, while encouraging international cultural exchange and enriching the museum's collection. The organiser has invited the five renowned designers to be the adjudicators and all the selected works will be put on display from December 2010 to May 2011.

     As one of the major events of the Poster Triennial, the seminar to be held on April 17 offers an opportunity for the participants to join in a cross-cultural dialogue. The speakers will share their valuable experience and discuss their insights into and perspectives on poster design in an international context.

     Hong Kong designers Stanley Wong and Eddy Yu will be the moderators of the seminar and simultaneous interpretation in Cantonese, Putonghua, English and Japanese will be provided.

     Details of the seminar are as follows:

Part I: 1.30pm – 4pm (including three talks)
The 1st topic: Work on Poster.Life in Poster
Speaker: Kan Tai-keung (Hong Kong)
Content: Illustrated with a selection of poster designs, the talk will be about how Kan finds fun in life and work and the many "living" emotions from which he draws inspiration for poster design. To inject life into his designs and to strike an emotional chord with viewers, he will also shed light on how he invests personal emotions into his work.

The 2nd topic: To be confirmed
Speaker: Mathias Augustyniak(France)

The 3rd topic: Individual Power versus Bunch Electricity
Speaker: Michel de Boer(The Netherlands)
Content: A personal point of view from a designer is an important asset in the process of forming creative ideas. However, the design process and the energy are completely different in a team. Designers can work individually on the same project and compete internally, or they can collectively brainstorm and then start visualising, leaving full space for a variety of design solutions. The speaker will analyse and visualise those different ways of creating ideas within his Dumbar Studio team.

Part II: 4.15pm – 6.15pm (including two talks)
The 4th topic: Emptiness: Deciphering Japanese Posters
Speaker: Kenya Hara (Japan)
Content: One of the characteristics of Japanese communication is to take the concept of simplicity as emptiness, which is far from its meaning in Western terms. In the seminar, Hara will discuss in detail the distinction between the concepts. This seminar is not concerned with transmitting a message, but rather it will serve as an empty vessel in which all kinds of images are collected. The speaker will discuss methods for effective communication and building of mutual understanding – which involves a great deal of listening rather than a great deal of talking.

The 5th topic: Design with Free Hand: In the Shadow of the Conflict
Speaker: David Tartakover(Israel)
Content: In the 1980s the speaker began to initiate, design and produce posters dealing with social and political issues, mainly the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and its effect on Israeli society. Most of these posters are unacceptable to the public at large, but they are an expression of the freedom of speech which exists in Israel. The speaker will discuss the characteristics of these posters, such as the use of newspaper photographs, Xerox copying and direct juxtaposition of the text to the image.

     Local designer Kan Tai-keung has won numerous awards in local and international competitions over the years. He is listed in the 2000 Outstanding Artists and Designers of the 20th Century in the UK. His achievements have been recognised locally by the wider community. Collected and exhibited by museums and galleries worldwide, his works have also been widely featured in international magazines and publications, including "IDEA", "Ryuko Tsushin" and "Morisawa Quarterly" of Japan; "Graphis" of Switzerland; "NOVUM" of Germany; and "Communication Arts" of the US.

     The French designer Mathias Augustyniak first enrolled in the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris and later furthered his studies at the Royal College of Art in London. Upon his graduation in 1991, he teamed up with former ENSAD classmate Michael Amzalag and formed the art and design partnership M/M Paris in 1992. Highly illustrative and expressive, M/M's best known designs are hand-drawn and are often applied at, and integrated in, photography. M/M have worked with an impressive list of clients and collaborators, creating iconic images for a who's who in the music, fashion and art worlds, from Craig McDean, Balenciaga and Yohji Yamamoto to Björk and Madonna. In addition to having totally redesigned French Vogue, M/M Paris have also completed commissions for the Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

     As the creative managing partner of Studio Dumbar, the Dutch designer Michel de Boer has worked with clients around the world, from both the commercial and public sectors, on brand recognition, corporate identity and graphic design. In a professional career spanning more than 25 years, his portfolio reflects a diverse client base, including Apple Inc, Allianz, Bayer, Buick, the Dutch Police, the European Central Bank, GM China, KPN, Nike, Nokia, Post Danmark, Randstad, Shell and the Dutch Government. His achievements have been recognised with a number of honours and accolades, among them two D&AD Gold Awards and seven D&AD Silver Awards and several red dot design awards. Since 2005, he has been professor of corporate identity at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia in Venice, Italy.

     Internationally renowned Japanese graphic designer Kenya Hara is a curator, a representative of the Nippon Design Centre and a professor at Musashino Art University. Taking a special interest in communication projects that cover a wide range of design disciplines, he has developed an aesthetic that is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, most notably demonstrated in the opening and closing ceremonies for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games and the promotion campaign for the Aichi Expo 2005. Enjoying critical acclaim also in commercial design, Hara was involved in promoting Japanese sake and rice nationwide. In 2001, Hara was appointed art director of MUJI, bringing a wealth of experience in corporate identity and brand development to the company, which translated into an acclaimed ad campaign that won the Grand Prix Award presented by the Tokyo Art Directors Club.

     Since the opening of his studio in Tel Aviv in 1975, the Israeli designer David Tartakover has specialised in various aspects of visual communications, with a particular emphasis on culture and politics. He is known for his political posters dealing with the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He has distinguished himself by winning coveted awards and prizes in both local and international competitions. His works have been presented at international exhibitions and included in permanent museum collections in the US, Europe, Japan, China and Israel.

     Admission to the seminar is free. Limited seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Interested parties are advised to register in advance by applying online at the Heritage Museums website,, or calling 2180 8260 to get an application form.

Ends/Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Hong Kong designer Kan Tai-keung. 

French designer Mathias Augustyniak.


Dutch designer Michel de Boer.


Japanese designer Kenya Hara.


Israeli designer David Tartakover.





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