Contemporary Meaning of Design

The concept "design" is used in an extremely wide variety of fields, ranging from graphic design to architecture, but our criteria to distinguish it’s value is not always the same. It varies from nation to nation, market to market, generation to generation. Things become confused on either side of the borders that divide regions, nations, and ethnic groups. We find that the reality is a world where the spread of culture doesn't always go hand in hand, so a narrow pattern of “design” has been made in many diversified ways, together with its own value.

Up to today, we have seen that many cultures have been sacrificed in the process of globalization, and wise historical views and opinions did not work well in this aspect. The fact is that the weak are victims of the strong and the rich become richer. This logic indicates that it is not easy in this world to make fundamental solutions in a naturally harmonious way. Globalization is nothing but severe competition in the disparity of society, which would be a crisis of democracy. Supposing we may lack the idea or sense of surviving those realities, there would be no chance. To be optimistic in this world today is “hard work.”

Now that we've entered the twenty-first century, the whole world is experiencing extreme upheavals such as terrorism and COVID-19. Globalization also means that we are entering the age when we are no longer able to say that anything is "none of our business," since mass media is dominated by social media or individual networks, so the information instantaneously sweeps across the world. All sorts of different problems like global warming, depletion of natural resources, disasters and epidemics arise incessantly to threaten people's day-to-day lives, and sow seeds of worry in their minds. This may be called the beginning of mappo (lawlessness) in Buddhism.

This is where design becomes relevant. What needs to be necessary is a global design in the age of globalized society, or a design suited to the age of telecommunications, a meaningful and beautiful design that can develop vertically and horizontally between human lives and circumstances. Let us ignore useless design. Instead we aspire to the politics of what design is, which influences our daily and future lives. It is design that can be an ace in the hole for humankind to find a solution to various challenges.

It's worth taking another look at the etymological root of the word "design": the Italian "disegno." This word came into use during the Italian Renaissance. It served as a source of artistic inspiration; to intend and to create things in the plastic arts. It is essential that we seek the politics in executing design that can contribute to the activities of both NGO and NPO, encouraging development that is sensitive to resources, social welfare, the protection of human rights and the natural environment. If we can manage these things, we are sure to overcome problems that the difference of the 21st century human societies have made, and another chance of having new value will be expected.

Lithograph “Untitled #001” by Emi Anrakuji

To reproduce Emi Anrakuji’s photograph in lithograph “Untitled” (Limited edition: 30 prints) is like a feeling of moving from an air-conditioned room to the space of room temperature: to enrich the image and to move to the new realm of the hidden beauty. Or it may seduce you to another different dimension byname “Venus of Room Temperature.”

Emi Anrakuji's art is often regarded as erotic and mysterious, but that describes only a small part of her playful representations riddled with enigma. For Anrakuji, beauty is like a condensed gemstone ball, it has a dangerous core ready to explode, and at the same time it is flexible, floating and always changing. Anrakuji is determined to capture images of sensations running throughout the body, from her brain to the very terminals of her cells.

In this particular work, the photographic image is recreated in a lithograph. This medium reveals her intentions of creating multilayered images. With the choice of lithography as a new tool for her work, she attempts to resurrect a novel beauty that sleeps deep inside her.


Limited release of 30 copies, with edition numbers and autographs by the artist


Lithograph, 12 colors, Printing by hand


257 x 192 mm


Canson (Made in France)

Custom Frame Size

447 x 372 mm (Made in Japan)


JPY107,500 (Tax & shipping charge excluded)