Simon Berndt from Onehorsetown

Designtimes Issue 36

Simon Berndt from Onehorsetown


Here’s the low down on the latest cover design from South Africa’s own Designtimes. The piece was commissioned by Mark Rosenberg, executed by Simon Berndt from Onehorsetown and goes on sale this week at Exclusive Books nationwide as well as Yours Truly and Loading Bay in Cape Town. R15 a copy and R5 goes to the Global Giving Foundation. Read on…


Our cover aids Japan
“We commissioned Simon Berndt from Onehorsetown to create this issues cover with the theme, Japan’s recent disaster. The reason? Well its simple, we wanted to do our part to help. Five rand of every issue sold will be donated to the Global Giving foundation. We asked Simon to tell us about the illustration. “When coming up with the concept for the cover I wanted to draw on Japan’s rich history and sense of legend as well as bringing in the theme of the disaster. I’ve also always been fascinated with the samurai, the epitome of honour, duty and self sacrifice. So my idea was basically to try and combine all of these factors into one awesome illustration. I wanted the style of the illustration to be a marriage of traditional Japanese art and more modern Japanese visual culture.


After spending some time researching I came across a statue of a famous 14th century samurai general located outside of the royal palace in Tokyo. His name was Kusunoki Masashige and he fought for Emperor Go-Daigo in his attempt to wrest rulership of Japan away from the Kamakura shogunate and is remembered as the ideal of samurai loyalty. When the emperor insisted that Kusunoki meet his enemies superior forces in the field in a pitched battle Kusunoki reluctantly agreed and knowingly marched his army into almost certain death. When Kusunoki, was down to only 73 of the original 700 horsemen he committed suicide along with his brother and the rest of his army. According to legend, his last words were Shichisei H?koku! “Would that I had seven lives to give for my country!” I felt immediately that this was an ideal folk hero to recreate, battling the elements in the defence of Japan.”


For more information check out Designtimes HERE.

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