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Rob Dunlavey
Kazumasa Nagai
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posters designed and illustrated by Kazumasa Nagai
I wish I knew more about Kazumasa Nagai. Ever since I saw his work profiled in Creation #5 in 1990, my own graphic design and art, bear his influence. There are other influences to be sure but I always come back to Nagai. The otherwordliness, humor, and compassion evident in his designs are still challenging and fresh to me.
"Starting from his abstract designs through to his current animal series, Mr. Nagai's works can be divided into three periods. Today he is in the process of forging his fourth period. Having known Mr. Nagai from that initial period, the only way I can describe the abrupt appearance of his animal series is as "momentous." But not only was it momentous for Mr. Nagai as one designer; it also constituted a mutation within the design world, in the same way that mutations suddenly take place in the natural world.

The name Kazumasa Nagai now conjures up images of a designer of animal illustrations, but today he has begun dealing with other subjects from the natural world, from insects to plants. Moreover, his descriptive powers have progressed from the earlier days of a ruler and compass, and today he uses a fine pen to fill an entire space with minuscule dots, requiring the time and patience one might have when writing memoirs from a prison cell. His is a micro-dimensional realm that makes mere mortals sigh in despair at the notion of laboring to achieve it.

On further probing, however, we come to realize that Mr. Nagai's micro world has completed a crossover into the macro realm. It is a realm in which a formerly prolix and colorful world has disappeared, to be gradually superseded by a realm of silence and monotones. But don't let down your guard, for without a doubt, Kazumasa Nagai is still hiding his next secret weapon, waiting for a ripe time to reveal it to us." source: The Ginza Graphic Gallery
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