The Visual Seduction: Japanese Advertising

Total Hours
Semester A
Course Day
Time 16:30 - 18:00

Contemporary Japanese advertising is an outcome of the globalization era and the rise of the new consumer society. It combines Japanese and Western aesthetics, as well as low and high culture. This postmodern concept serves as a foundation for visual communication. The course will clarify how and why high aesthetics in the West is placed primarily in galleries while in Japan it is found in the streets as a seductive visual expression in marketing communication for the masses. The course will examine the connection between advertising, communication and culture. How meaning is formulated in an advertising poster, and the contribution of visual communication as a marketing tool. The second part of the course will focus on various Japanese designers, including Saito Makoto and Hachiro Suzuki. How are the products of different industries (ex: fashion, railroad, alcohol) marketed, with different reference systems (Manga, contemporary art and gender) that create meaning around a variety of products and the utilization of Japanese typography, calligraphy and the use of text as image. In this course we will analyze Japanese advertising posters, including their cultural narratives, the visual syntax, composition, cultural symbols and the use of techniques that are typical in Japanese art history (calligraphy, ink paintings, print).