Performance in Japan has always depended on graphic design: the climaxes of kabuki and noh theatre are inseparable from the woodblock prints that advertise and commemorate them, while the appeal of a great geisha is assessed on her formal entrance in an ensemble of many layers and complex visual allusions – the costume is the performance.
The art director Eiko Ishioka, who has died of pancreatic cancer aged 73, came from that Japanese graphic tradition and took it around the world in every medium – advertising, cinema, theatre, circus, fashion and the conjunction of them all that was the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, for which she designed the costumes.
Eiko Ishioka in 2010. She combined wild imagination and rigorous discipline.
Photograph: John Lamparski/WireImage