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Katsuji Wakisaka

In the 1970’s, Marimekko desired to expand their horizons and pursued the talents of two impressive Japanese textile artists, Katsuji Wakisaka and Fujiwo Ishimoto. In particular, Katsuji Wakisaka introduced new aesthetics which enriched and expanded the Marimekko style. Trained at the Kyoto School of Art & Design, a 24 year old Wakisaka began to work with Marimekko and remained there for the next 8 years. Injecting a contagious playfulness, he refreshed the Marimekko design status quo. Famously known for creating the Bo Boo print, the condensed and flattened style of his cartoon-like graphics became his signature.

In addition to playful prints, color plays a large role in Wakisaka’s designs. The heavy use of primary colors enforced a whimsical aspect but also reaffirmed the mod tradition that Marimekko had established. The source of Wakisaka’s brilliance was his ability to purposely blur the lines between the living room and the nursery which brought fun back to home furnishings; his contributions gave Marimekko a new lease on life.
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