12 Jul 2007 — 2 Aug 2007
Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami Prints

Gallery 2 presents a print exhibition by Takashi Murakami, a representative Japanese Pop artist active at home and abroad. Based on Ukiyo-e, Otaku culture, and the superflat concept emphasizing two-dimensionality, Murakami has attained great success, blurring the lines between pure and commercial art. He works in a wide range of mediums including painting, print, sculpture, large-scale balloons, performance, and even fashion, developing his own unique art philosophy in which he believes that a work of art is a character. Interested in a workshop-style space like those found in the Disney Animation studio, the Lukas Film studio, and studio Ghibli, Murakami established Hiropon Factory in 1996 and maximized the efficiency of his work making process by embracing a system of collective creation. Inspired by Andy Warhol, this was the predecessor for KaiKai Kiki, a comprehensive art management company for which he works now as president. KaiKai Kiki has actively introduced his work to the American and European art markets, which are primarily based in Tokyo and New York City, and has lead the discovery and nurturing of young Japanese artists through the Geisai project.

Sensational figures in stark poses (KO2, Hiropon, My Lonesome Cowboy), Kaikai that looks like a rabbit, a three-eyed boy monster Kiki ? such are the characters which first strike us in his art. Murakami considers that Japanese society after World War II is closely linked to Otaku culture and based on this conception, he concentrates on creating his own animation characters. Another noticeable point in his art is the background of the creation of each animation. For instance, DOB which has consistently appeared in his pieces since 1993 is the abbreviation of Dobozite Dobozite Shiyamanbe the artist himself coined and has no meaning, conveying a critique of Japan’s art journalism. This Gallery 2 exhibition brings together Murakami’s 25 drawings and prints featuring his representative images such as smiling flowers, jellyfish eyes, mushrooms, and DOB. The exhibition will provide an interesting opportunity to have a glimpse at his new attempt and exploration, audaciously moving beyond the lines between the East and West the past and present, art and subculture.
Installation view