008: Exhibition

Yu Nagaba
I Draw

The simplicity of perceptive illustrations resonates
in the quality and gentle ambience of the space.

The topical illustrator Yu Nagaba whose work is widely seen in all kinds of media from magazines and books to advertisements sold 100 pieces over just 3 days at his solo show at Midori-so 2 Gallery (Omotesando, Tokyo). In commemoration of the launch of the book “I DRAW” – a collection of his drawings since January 2014, a special exhibition titled with the same name was held in the Gallery Space of Tsutaya bookstore in Daikanyama on July 21, 2015.

In the exhibition venue, 50 original works were on display and available for purchase. In addition, T-shirts, tote bags and other goods were on sale including, to the delight of his enthusiastic fans, a reprint of a popular T-shirt that he had previously produced for a magazine and was sold out.

The gallery adjoins the bookstore space, and many of the people who come looking for a book or browse the shelves naturally flow into the exhibition and take a moment to check it out. As a material to give an added dimension to the display, Ultrasuede® was used.

Nagaba’s works were exhibited on the original white walls of the space, and in the showcase below them, his works that appeared in various magazines were lined up on display. If interior work had not been undertaken, the wood of the showcase would have been exposed and sharply contrasted with the ambience, but the application of white Ultrasuede® instead gave the space a softer nuance.

In addition, the “stepped” goods sales space also was enhanced by the application of white Ultrasuede®. Why white? Because the white background further accented the simplicity of his black line drawings. His works are the star of the show, and it is the role of the space to put spotlight them – which these interior touches admirably achieved.

Amid the simplicity and softness of the material, one senses an air of luxury. Through the expression of these qualities, space where visitors can fully appreciate the artistry of Nagaba’s works has been created.


Yu Nagaba

Illustrator. Born in Tokyo in 1976 and graduated from Tokyo Zokei University. The simplicity of his line drawings magically capture the essence of his characters. On Instagram (@kaerusensei), he uploads a new work every day. The scope of work as an illustrator is broad, ranging from books and apparel to advertising and package design. Featuring illustrations of scenes and quotes from popular movies, his book “Minna no Eiga 100 sen” (Selection of 100 of Everyone’s Favorite Movies) was published in April 2016. Recent major commercial works as an illustrator include cover illustrations for the magazine “POPEYE”, Etiquette ad posters for Tokyo Metro (subway company), and Line (SNS) stamps for Toyota.