From May 9-15, the CalArts Graphic Design program presents going to be, yet to be…, a showcase of work from students across the BFA and MFA programs.
Each year, the show is organized by members of the Designing for Spaces class. This year, that team consisted of Oliver Ahn (BFA 4), Joon Kim (BFA 3), Yuchen Liu (MFA 1) and Jaimey Shapey (BFA4), alongside instructors Karen To Nakada and Masato Nakada (both of The Happening Studio).
The team’s first priority was settling on a concept that would guide the show thematically, physically and aesthetically. In the initial stages of brainstorming, inspiration was drawn from a book titled This is Me, Full Stop by Caz Hildebrand and Philip Cowell, which heavily plays with metaphor and punctuation.
“Punctuation is a rich typographic method of communication — even the most subtle comma or period can symbolize a larger meaning,” explains Ahn. “We focused on the forgotten nuances of punctuation, and used them in isolation to bring attention to their form and metaphorical power.”
One of the team’s priorities was not only organizing a show that looked good, but that had a narrative weaved in throughout. They wanted viewers to be imbued with a sense of story. The idea of an epilogue first came to mind, as the show is a culmination of the CalArts school year.
“However, after much rumination, we started seeing the show as less of an ending and more of a beginning,” says Ahn. “The show isn’t an epilogue, it’s a prologue. As graduating students leave, their stories don’t end, they just turn the page to a new chapter. The end of their time at CalArts signifies the commencement for a new story.”
Ahn, with experience as a member of last year’s exhibition team, took on the role of production manager. He managed the behind-the-scenes aspects as well as overseeing other areas of the show, ensuring continuity throughout and bringing ideas into real space.
Shapey, whose practice is focused on typography and type design, was assigned the role of branding manager, and designed punctuation characters for the exhibit, creating a bespoke set to be used with students’ chosen typefaces for the show. Liu, with a strong eye for spatial design, was the curation and gallery graphics manager, in charge of establishing the narrative, mood and atmosphere in the gallery space. Kim wanted to work with the tactile exhibit features, and was the layout and construction manager. Together, the team worked closely with Karen and Masato in order to solidify what was possible within the timeline, budget and space.
The team also built a website that they hoped would serve as an archival project and digital catalogue of all the work in the show. The site has a full list of participants with links to their websites and/or Instagram accounts. It also includes an official description of the show, which states:
CalArts is a chapter in a thousand-page novel, and we’ve only just turned the page. Design has no epilogue. It is a constantly growing field that moves with intense forward motion. Things will keep changing, evolving, and growing because of designers and creators. There is no limit as to how far we can design or redesign as we contribute to that growing motion. As we converge with the design world, our stories gain run-on sentences, semicolons, and commas. There is no full stop. The punctuation throughout the exhibit annotates our work, and symbolizes our work as chapters and words in a story, that story being the future of design.
The opening reception takes place at 6:30 pm on May 9 in D300 & D301 galleries and the show will run until May 15.
Also taking place on May 9 is the CalArts Motion Graphics Show (aka "Mosho"). Taking place at 9 p.m. in the Bijou Theater, students screen works that feature iconic pieces of art from the Renaissance come to life.
The Graphic Design Program emphasizes both practical and conceptual skills, and enables each designer to integrate a command of visual language with imagination, theory and technology. By calling to mind notions of continuation, futurity and innovation, going to be, yet to be… and Mosho are sure to be a testament to the hard work that CalArts Graphic Design students have done throughout the year.
going to be, yet to be...
For a full list of participants, visit the program show website.
Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 – 10:30 pm (Opening) in D300 and D301
Friday, May 10 at 12:00 – 6:00 pm
Saturday, May 11 at 12:00 – 6:00 pm
Sunday, May 12 at 12:00 – 6:00 pm
Monday, May 13 at 10:00 – 6:00 pm
Tuesday, May 14 at 10:00 – 6:00 pm
Wednesday, May 15 at 12:00 – 6:00 pm
Motion Graphics Design Show (Mosho)
Thursday, May 9 at 9 pm in CalArts Bijou Theater