Japan Personal

goodbye to Eiko Ishioka

A truly unique artist has passed.

Our dear family friend, from before I was born, Eiko Ishioka, passed this weekend.

For those of you who don’t know of Eiko Ishioka, she was (and probably will be for a long, long time) the only person to have won a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award as well as two Tony nominations. She was a visionary artist who worked in graphic design, stage design, costume design, and many other formats.

Eiko was also of that era of Japanese artists who were internationally recognized when few were. That she was also female made her even more rare among Japanese artists.

Although we will miss her, we all can have the pleasure of seeing her work, whether it’s Miles Davis’ album cover from “Tutu”, her movies with Tarsem Singh (“The Cell”, “The Fall”), Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”, Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai”, Bjork’s music video for “Cocoon”, or the new “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”

For those of you who want to study Eiko’s work, I strongly suggest tracking down two books she produced, “Eiko by Eiko” (1983) and “Eiko on Stage” (2000).

One of my favorite pieces Eiko did was the art design for a huge poster for the release of Apocalypse Now in Japan. It’s now very valuable and hard-to-find.

My condolences to her husband Nico and the Ishioka family.

Eiko Ishioka, Multifaceted Designer and Oscar Winner, Dies at 73