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Henry Steiner, The Art of Graphic Communication, M+

Henry Steiner: The Art of Graphic Communication

15 June - 15 December


M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, is pleased to announce Henry Steiner: The Art of Graphic Communication, a solo exhibition of Henry Steiner (b. 1934), the father of graphic design in Hong Kong. The exhibition celebrates Steiner’s influential graphic language with a selection of some of his most iconic projects tracing Hong Kong’s development for more than sixty years. The exhibition will open to the public on Saturday, 15 June 2024 in the Cissy Pui-Lai Pao and Shinichiro Watari Galleries.

Henry Steiner designed the red-and-white hexagon logo for HSBC, the banknote designs for Standard Chartered Bank, and logos for many renowned Hong Kong-based companies. Born in Austria in 1934, Henry Steiner has lived and worked in Hong Kong since 1961. His graphic designs are informed by principles he learned while studying under renowned American designer Paul Rand. He later pioneered a form of graphic communication that skilfully juxtaposes multiple cultural elements with visual acuity. His designs are often playful and engage the viewer through the element of surprise.

Henry Steiner: The Art of Graphic Communication highlights some of Steiner’s most significant and widely recognised projects from the 1960s to the present by featuring more than 200 objects from the M+’s Collections and Steiner’s personal collection. This exhibition is the second in the Pao-Watari Exhibition Series, a new series of monographic exhibitions on historically important figures and moments.

Henry Steiner: The Art of Graphic Communication is divided into two sections. The first one introduces Steiner’s formative years and arrival in Hong Kong. In 1938, Steiner’s family was forced to leave Austria after it was annexed by Germany and anti-Jewish policies were implemented. His education in New York exposed him to some of the leading artists of the day, and later at Yale School of Art, to renowned Americandesigner Paul Rand. In 1961, Steiner was sent to Hong Kong to help open the Hong Kong office of The Asia Magazine. In 1964, he established his own company, Graphic Communication Ltd. (now Steiner&Co.), in Hong Kong.

The second section of the exhibition presents selected items from the M+ Henry Steiner Project Archive, showcasing how Steiner’s designs reflect the development of the city itself as well as changes in people’s everyday lives. Ranging from important landmarks like Ocean Terminal and Connaught Centre (now Jardine House) to the city’s promotional campaigns, consumer products, banks, hotels, and private clubs, the selected projects showcase some of Hong Kong’s most enduring brand identities.

To coincide with the exhibition, M+ will host a free public talk with Henry Steiner and Billy Potts, local designer and writer, at The Forum, 14:30–16:00 on Saturday, 15 June 2024. The talk, titled In Conversation: Henry Steiner, will explore Steiner’s approach to graphic design and some of his favourite projects. The talk will be conducted in English with simultaneous interpretation in Cantonese.


15 June
15 December
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