For her poster campaign for the Ad Council of Japan on the theme “Media Literacy Is an Imagination,” Shiro Shita Saori turned to the classic Japanese proverb of the three wise monkeys, who embody the maxim “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” This poster plays on the first element of the maxim, “see no evil.” Saori illustrated a collective of identical, stylized white figures with stark black eyes. Saori then redacted the title of the poster beneath two black bars, a clever play on the illusion that, in our media saturated age, the flood of information.

Poster, New Type, 2014. Shiro Shita Saori for the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art (Shibuya, Japan). Solo Exhibition.Digital print. 103 × 72.8 cm (40 9/16 × 28 11/16 in.). Gift of Shiro Shita Saori, 2014-35-2.

Poster, New Type, 2014. Shiro Shita Saori for the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art (Shibuya, Japan). Solo Exhibition.Digital print. 103 × 72.8 cm (40 9/16 × 28 11/16 in.). Gift of Shiro Shita Saori, 2014-35-2.

 

Meanwhile, the mental metropolis that unfurls across the surface of Shiro Shita Saori’s poster Solo Exhibition, New Type (2014) recalls the free-form thought processes of doodles, graffiti, and stream-of-consciousness writing.

Caitlin Condell is the Assistant Curator in the Department of Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

The exhibition How Posters Work is currently on view at Cooper Hewitt through November 15, 2015.  You can learn more at the exhibition homepage  and find the book How Posters Work at SHOP Cooper Hewitt. #HowPostersWork

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