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17 years of International collaborations



Rotterdam / Amsterdam, The Netherlands



Rotterdam / Amsterdam, The Netherlands

17 years of International collaborations


Since 2006, we have been the creative force behind CAMERA JAPAN, the annual Japanese film and culture festival in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Our role is to shape the graphic communications, aligning them with the festival's theme. We curate a global network of diverse designers, artists, photographers, and creatives, collaborating and coordinating to bring our vision to life. With their collective expertise, we consistently deliver successful, impactful, and groundbreaking works for the festival.


2023 / Game Rabbit


Our collaboration with Polish illustrator and graphic designer, Roman Klonek, for the CAMERA JAPAN Festival poster began in late 2019, initially centered around the "Game" theme for the 2020 edition. Unfortunately, the pandemic in 2020 prompted downsizing and theme changes, putting Roman's fantastic graphic work on hold.

Now, in 2023, with the festival back at full scale and a vibrant rabbit-themed graphic, it aligns perfectly with the Year of the Rabbit.


2022 / Kare-Sansui


We collaborated with a Guangzhou based designer Tom Kwok this year and the result is a stunning mix of Kare-Sansui (Japanese Zen garden pettern) with subtle film reel references. 

Click here to view the CJ 2022 trailer


2021 / Wish


This year's graphic features a captivating cyber-punk style illustration of a Daruma doll. In Japanese tradition, writing a Kanji character and filling in one eye on the doll symbolizes a wish. Our wish was for global COVID-19 control and a return to normalcy. Through this Daruma doll artwork, we convey optimism and the power of perseverance to achieve our goals.

Click here to see the case study for this work. 


2020 / #15



In light of the pandemic-induced restrictions on festival activities and crowd sizes, it was decided not to have a specific theme for this year's event. However, all the designs revolved around the number "15" to commemorate the festival's 15th anniversary.



2019 / Youth


The 2019 theme, "Youth," portrayed a juxtaposition of innocence and a darker inner world. The design featured a Japanese high school girl standing or floating in front of a window, which served as a gateway to her complex mindscape. The presence of a "skull tree" outside or inside the window paid homage to "Taira-no-Kiyomori," a notable Ukiyo-e genre painting. This artistic reference added depth and symbolism to the overall composition, reflecting the inner conflicts and complexities experienced during the youthful journey.

Collaboration with Idlebeats 



2018 / Superstitious??


To mark CAMERA JAPAN's 13th anniversary, the festival embraced superstitions with a theme centered on Japanese Yokai ghost characters. These intriguing supernatural beings added cultural richness and captivated audiences, creating an immersive experience exploring the realm of superstitions.

Collaboration with Zeloot

Click here to view the CJ 2018 trailer


2017 / Dutch-Japanese



In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Dutch-Japanese cultural exchange in 2017, the festival introduced posters that depicted a fusion of a Samurai warrior's head with a Dutch nobleman's body. This graphic image aimed to evoke the sense of awe and tension experienced during the encounter between these vastly different cultures. By capturing this historical moment of cultural exchange, the posters sought to reflect the profound impact and significance of the meeting between Japan and the Netherlands.

Collaboration with Idlebeats 


2016 / Konto

The theme for this year's festival is "Konto," a Japanese word derived from "conte" that translates to 'comedy'. Reflecting this theme, the poster design features numerous smiley and laughing faces arranged to form one large, smiling face. This artistic representation captures the essence of comedy and aims to evoke a sense of joy and amusement. By incorporating these elements, the poster encapsulates the spirit of "Konto" and sets the tone for a festival filled with laughter and comedic experiences.

Collaboration with Beijing based illustrator Chong Zeng. 


2015 / #10


In celebration of our festival's 10th anniversary, we incorporated the number "10" as a prominent graphic motif. The "0" in "10" was creatively represented by the vibrant and stylized lips of a Geisha, complete with traditional makeup. This design choice paid homage to the rich cultural heritage of Japan while symbolizing the milestone of our festival's decade-long journey.

Collaboration with graphic designer Kekfeng Lee

Click here to view the CJ 2015 trailer



2014 / J-Dream


In our second collaboration with the Shanghai artist collective Idlebeats, we cereated a mind-bending image that captures the essence of this year's theme, "J-Dream." Centered around fantasies and surrealism in Japanese cinema, the artwork is a visual marvel of trick art. At first glance, you'll observe a Bonsai boat serenely floating on the ocean, with an elderly couple sitting on the tree, gazing at the sunset behind Mt. Fuji. A film reference is cleverly incorporated with a lens-shaped object hanging from a tree. However, upon closer examination, the image reveals a mesmerizing and surrealistic skull, adding an unexpected twist to the overall composition. This intriguing juxtaposition invites viewers to explore the depths of imagination and the interplay between dreams and reality in Japanese cinema.

Click here to view the CJ 2014 trailer


2013 / Contradition

In our inaugural collaboration with Dutch illustrator Zeloot, we drew inspiration from traditional Japanese patterns to create captivating graphics for this year's theme, "CONtradition." This unique theme combines the concepts of contradiction and tradition, resulting in a dynamic and thought-provoking blend. By incorporating traditional Japanese motifs into the artwork, we pay homage to the rich cultural heritage while exploring the tension between contrasting elements.

Click here to view the CJ 2013 trailer


2012 / Japalicious




In the 7th edition of the festival, our primary focus was to shine a spotlight on the vibrant culinary culture of Japan. We aimed to delve into the profound influence of food, its pervasive presence in every facet of life, and its significant role in shaping society as a whole. By celebrating Japan's culinary heritage, we sought to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the rich gastronomic traditions that define the country. Through our programming and activities, we aimed to engage attendees in a flavorful journey that showcased the intricate connections between food, culture, and society.

To read more about this project, click here


2011 / Made in Japan?




The 2011 festival embraced the theme of 'Made in Japan?' as a platform to challenge and explore the boundaries of Japanese identity. It posed thought-provoking questions about what can be considered authentically 'Japanese' and what lies beyond those definitions. 

In an exciting first-time collaboration with the Shanghai-based German Chinese duo, Idlebeats, the festival showcased images that fused typical Japanese elements with unexpected and foreign elements. This artistic fusion served as a reflection on the festival's central theme, challenging preconceived notions of Japanese culture and exploring the dynamic nature of cultural exchange. Through these captivating visuals, the festival aimed to provoke dialogue and contemplation about the evolving nature of cultural identity and the influences that shape it.


2010 / Pleasure & Pain




The theme of our 2010 festival edition is "Pleasure & Pain," which reflects a ubiquitous characteristic of Japan: the contradictions, ambivalence, and contrasts within its society and culture that continue to fascinate, intrigue, and often shock the rest of the world.

In line with this theme, the festival's graphic prominently showcases the work of Tokyo-based photographer Kaoru Yamada. The captivating image depicts models holding a candied apple, symbolizing pleasure, with needles piercing through it, representing pain. This visually striking composition serves as a powerful metaphor for the complexities and paradoxes found within Japanese society. By juxtaposing pleasure and pain, the graphic aims to provoke contemplation and evoke a range of emotions, inviting viewers to delve deeper into the intricate layers of Japan's cultural tapestry.


2009 / New Playground




Starting this year, the festival introduced themed programming to enhance the overall experience.

In light of Rotterdam being designated as "The Youth Capital of Europe" in 2009, CAMERA JAPAN embraced the theme of "New Playgrounds" for its programming. To bring this theme to life, the festival showcased a collection of captivating and slightly mischievous illustrations by Belgian artist Mademoiselle Annette. Notably, all the typography used in the festival materials was meticulously hand-drawn with the left hand, intentionally evoking a childlike aesthetic. By incorporating these elements, the festival sought to create an immersive and playful atmosphere that celebrated the spirit of youth and imagination.


2008 / Red Dot

Photography by Kaoru Yamada

Since its inception in 2006 as a Japanese film festival, the festival has grown exponentially, both in scale and scope. This year, it embarked on exploring new territories and incorporating diverse program parts. With the introduction of new disciplines, the festival underwent a transformation, evolving from a Japanese film festival into a multidisciplinary cultural festival.

As part of this transformation, a sleek and minimalist logo was crafted to replace the previous film reel visual identity. The minimalist design of the logo signifies a fresh direction, reflecting the festival's commitment to presenting a diverse range of artistic disciplines and providing an enriching experience for attendees.

To read more about this project, click here







2007 / Neon Signs


The graphics for this year's festival were inspired by the vibrant neon signs that adorn the streets of Tokyo. These iconic elements of the cityscape served as a rich source of inspiration, capturing the energy, dynamism, and unique character of Tokyo's bustling streets.


2006 / Kappa




The inaugural poster of CAMERA JAPAN showcased a captivating scene with a whimsical touch. Set against a sky backdrop, a flying movie projector took center stage, operated by Kappa—a mythical Japanese creature combining the characteristics of a monkey and a frog. This extraordinary artwork was brought to life through our collaboration with Ludvig Gustafson, a talented Swedish illustrator and designer. And it captured the very essence of the festival's spirit, inviting viewers to embark on a remarkable journey filled with enchantment and cinematic exploration.