May 20, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Postwar Japanese Design and Ikko Style

John Maeda

John Maeda

“Mr. Tanaka was not affiliated with any academic institution as a design educator professionally, neither in Japan nor worldwide. Furthermore, Mr. Tanaka was well known for being a person that did not care for public lectures or guest appearances in academic circles. Those who knew Mr. Takana know as well as I that to simply watch – just once – how he carried himself in all situations with humility, grace, and natural expertise, was the opportunity to learn the pure spirit of design of living. His straightforward and unadorned manner of life was in striking contrast to the usual vanity and glittery lifestyles of the majority of designers. Mr. Tanaka was a regular human being — he showed us the simple fact that to speak to all humans, you have to be a human yourself.”

John Maeda is a Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and former president of Rhode Island School of Design.


“Tanaka Ikko came into my life in 1987 when I helped on an exhibition entitled Ikko Tanaka: Graphic Design of Japan at the Doizaki Gallery of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. Instantaneously, we noticed our Kansai dialect and quickly became lifetime friends. After the JACCC exhibition, Tanaka helped to bring to the JACCC a monumental exhibition by Tokyo ADC, Design Tokyo, and Tokyo Illustration Society. My inspiration of Tanaka Ikko is his canon, ‘Stealing with your eyes and ears.’ He guided us on the Self to understand the action without intervening thoughts. I continue to embrace this conversation throughout my life.”

Lunch at Ikko Studio 1987

Ikko posters at JACCC 1987

Ikko posters at JACCC 1987

Hirozaku Kosaka is Artistic Director at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, curator, and an ordained Shingon Buddhist priest.


Panelists: Nikolaus Hafermaas, Chair of Graphic Design at Art Center College of Design; Noriko Aso, Associate Professor of History at University of California Santa Cruz; Andrew Kutchera, Lecturer in Design at USC Roski School of Art and Design.

Program is Included with Museum Admission, followed by reception.



American Alliance of Museums Conference 2015

May 14, 2015

Michael FritzenThe Social Value of Museums: Inspiring Change

When I was a child, my mother teased me about having so many interests: spiders, Japan, puppets, and the list goes on. I have always been a person who enjoyed learning new things. Just last month, I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for the annual American Alliance of Museums conference. The event attracts museum professionals from all over the country, as well as Canada, Mexico, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The conference is four days of workshops, networking, social events, lectures, and information gathering. For me, it is a time to discover about the latest trends in museums, reconnect with colleagues, make new connections, find solutions to pressing questions, and learn lots of new information. At the end, your brain feels full because it is packed with rich knowledge.

The conference was about diversity and inspiring change. Many of the workshops explored new ways that museums can reach out to audiences through public programs, exhibitions and community engagement. Multiple presentations stressed the importance of celebrating the people around us, so that no matter who is coming to our museums they could find themselves within the walls. I felt proud to work at the USC Pacific Asia Museum, because I know how hard we all work to celebrate the diverse cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands through our exhibitions and programming. We strive to create authentic experiences for our audiences and to make connections across cultures.

I could easily go on about all that was learned at the American Alliance of Museums conference, but be sure to keep checking our website and newsletters because my new found ideas will start popping up in the Museum’s future public programs.

– Michael Fritzen, Head of Education and Public Programs, USC Pacific Asia Museum