Detail of a poster featuring a stylised depiction of a red monkey with a mouth full of sharp teeth. Its body is covered in a transparent green textured shape that extends to our left and becomes its hands. It is set against a background divided vertically into a black section and a yellow section.

‘When You’re Ready, It Will Speak to You’: Nagai Kazumasa’s LIFE Series

Japanese graphic designer Nagai Kazumasa started creating his LIFE series in 1987 and is still producing it today. The series comprises hundreds of posters that use animals and plants as motifs. Ikko Yokoyama, M+ Lead Curator, Design and Architecture, has revisited the series during the COVID-19 pandemic, gaining in the process a new appreciation for its consistent environmental message—one that is as relevant today as it was thirty years ago. Below, Yokoyama shares her thoughts on the series.

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Repeated over decades, the message of the LIFE series is very simple: It’s about coexistence between nature and humans. If you look at Nagai’s posters from the late 1980s, and then from today, the consistency is remarkable. When he started the series in 1987, he had already proclaimed that this would be his life-long project, and he hasn’t stopped producing it since.

Two works in the post have been put together to form a banner. On the left, an ink painting on paper depicts Hong Kong at night using varying shades of black, dark blue, and yellow. On the water are several boats, and along the shore, buildings with yellow lights are visible. On the right, an installation consists of several paintings and two videos on a white wall. Among the paintings are white, grey, red, and blue labels with text.

How Did You Two Meet? Hong Kong Visual Culture Objects in the M+ Collections

How did you two meet? is a ‘recipe’ for a public programme from the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal. The CCA invited us to put our own spin on this recipe at M+. Our How did you two meet? recipe goes like this: Pick two seemingly disconnected objects in the M+ Collections, and narrate a story that connects them.

Two curators from M+’s Hong Kong Visual Culture Team took on this challenge in an online programme. Curator Tina Pang introduced a piece by Lui Shou-kwan, while Associate Curator Chloe Chow explored a piece by Tiffany Chung.

Two images side by side. On the left is a kimono made out of dyed silk crepe fabric depicting different recurring scenes related to war. On the right are six lamps hanging from coloured cords attached to the same outlet. Each lamp consists of a plastic bottle with most of its body covered by a woven textile basket-like lamp shade, each with different shapes, colours, and patterns.

Meet the Oldest and Newest Design and Architecture Works in the M+ Collections

How did you two meet? is a ‘recipe’ for a public programme from The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal. The CCA invited us to put our own spin on this recipe at M+. Our How did you two meet? recipe goes like this: pick the oldest and newest objects in the M+ Collections (out of those available on the M+ Collections Beta), and narrate a story that connects them.

Two curators from M+’s Design and Architecture team took on this challenge in an online programme. Lead curator Ikko Yokoyama explored the potential relationship between two design objects, and curator Shirley Surya examined the connection between two architectural works. Below, we share their results.

A white rice cooker with a metallic lid stands on a white surface. The logo for Toshiba is printed on its front. Next to the rice cooker is the metallic pot that normally sits inside of it. A small transparent measuring cup is in front of the pot, next to a tied up electrical cord.

Quiz: Can You Guess How Old These Designs Are?

Can you tell the difference between a 1950s rice cooker and one from the 2000s? Do you know when the first Game Boy was released? How good is your intuition when it comes to chair designs?

Challenge yourself with this quiz on the age of ten classic design objects in the M+ Collections. Here’s a hint: the oldest object is from the 1920s, and the newest is from the 2010s.