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Work Tools
Kosuke Kawamura Graphic Designer

Creative Work Styles in Work Tools

Everyone has one or two indispensable tools for work. Work tools reflect the owner’s style.
In this series, we asked seven active creators across the field in Japan today to introduce the tools of their trade that support their daily creations. What episodes led them to choose these tools in particular? We hope that these anecdotes help enrich your work style.

Work Tools
Kosuke Kawamura Graphic Designer

Creative Work Styles in Work Tools

Everyone has one or two indispensable tools for work. Work tools reflect the owner’s style.
In this series, we asked seven active creators across the field in Japan today to introduce the tools of their trade that support their daily creations. What episodes led them to choose these tools in particular? We hope that these anecdotes help enrich your work style.

NT Cutter Design Knife
Kai Corporation Cutter Knife
Tombow Pit
 
The work tools used by Kawamura for over ten years—a stick glue from PiT and a utility knife from Kai Group— are household names. For his collage work using cut-outs from magazines and books, he values “strangeness and discomfort”.
Creating something out of the ordinary from ordinary objects.
– Kosuke Kawamura

“My tools are nothing special,” says Kawamura upon reflection. “I use tools like the PiT glue that everybody knows (in Japan), utility knife from Kai Group to cut straight lines, and NT Cutter knife for curved lines. I don’t use scissors, so basically those are the only tools I’ve been using for more than ten years now. On the contrary, I use Photoshop for making digital collages, so it feels like the mouse replaced my box cutter. I think it might be similar to a craftsman’s approach; I prefer using tools that I feel comfortable with, rather than trying a lot of new tools that I’m not used to. The selection of paper (a work tool) I use for a collage is based on what I intend to create with it. Some are sold for just few hundred yen at some used bookstore in town, while others are published in only 1000 copies.I try to use abandoned materials or something nobody uses. I don’t use images of celebrities or catchy material—for example, when I work with pornographic material, I use realistic nude pictures of middle-aged women rather than PLAYBOY models. I think there are limitless amount of good, completed material but that’s boring. Like playing a game, I enjoy using incomplete material to complete my work.” Treating work like a game, Kawamura completes his mission one after another. The essential work tools for his work style, which he finds enjoyable, are everyday objects that also possess game-like qualities.
 
 
 

Kosuke Kawamura
A collage artist and graphic designer who works in various capacities, including presenting collage works using illustrations from AKIRA and providing graphics for apparel brands. He has held solo exhibitions at various museums at home and abroad.

 
 
 

Photo Tomoaki Shimoyama Text Shohei Kawamura English Translation Akiko Watanabe & Rei Matsuoka

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