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Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History Latest Ocula Conversation
In Partnership with Artspace Sydney
Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History By Ruth McDougall, Sydney

Artist Taloi Havini and Ruth McDougall, curator of Pacific art at Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, discuss Havini's first Australian solo exhibition, Reclamation .

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Armory Week Lowdown: Art Shows to See Ocula Report Armory Week Lowdown: Art Shows to See By Casey Carsel, New York

After structural issues forced The Armory Show into last-minute relocation pirouettes last year, the fair returns between 5 and 8 March 2020 with a flourishing programme, complemented by stand-out shows across New York City.

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Ella Kruglyanskaya Steals from Art History, Takes Back Gaze Ocula Insight Ella Kruglyanskaya Steals from Art History, Takes Back Gaze By Tessa Moldan, London

For her second solo exhibition at Thomas Dane Gallery in London, Ella Kruglyanskaya's compositions signal the many possibilities of paint.

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HomePage Artists

b. 1962, Japan

Takashi Murakami Biography

Best known for his distinctive anime-inspired characters and worlds of explosive neon colours, Takashi Murakami garnered international attention in the late 1990s with his cartoon-like paintings and sculptures.

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Murakami's aesthetics largely derive from his concern with the emergence of kawaii (cute) visual culture in post-war Japan. After Japan's surrender to the Allies in 1945, Japanese artists turned to creating cartoon fantasies and harmless characters such as Hello Kitty and Doraemon as a way of reinventing their culture. When these icons began to gain popularity inside and outside Japan, the Japanese government also adopted them—issuing Hello Kitty stamps, for example—to reinvent the country as cool, youthful and approachable.

Murakami uses his kawaii characters to critique Japanese society. In the painting Super Nova (1999), for example, cartoon mushrooms are infested with eyeballs on their bodies. By appropriating anime aesthetics to depict the effects of nuclear explosion on life, Murakami subverted the playfulness and fantasy expected of anime in an attempt to force the viewer to confront reality.

At the same time, Murakami regards kawaii as a means for Japan to establish a cultural cache overseas and has successfully introduced his characters into international popular culture. Between 2002 and 2015, he famously collaborated with Louis Vuitton to redesign the brand's iconic logo print in his signature neon colour palette, and to incorporate his smiling flowers and big-eared characters into its luxury bags. His creations have also appeared in the music industry, notably his artwork for Kanye West albums (Graduation [2007], Kids See Ghosts [2018]) and collaborations with Pharrell Williams to create a sculpture at Art Basel Miami Beach (2009) and a music video (Last Night, Good Night [2014]).

In addition to his anime-inspired characters, Murakami's practice is informed by contemporary events and religious iconography. His solo exhibition In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow at Gagosian New York in 2014 was conceived as a reaction to the Great Tōhoku Earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011. For the works in the exhibition, Murakami borrowed from Buddhist, Daoist and Japanese Shinto imageries—such as the enlightened Buddhist monks in the painting Isle of the Dead (2014)—and reinterpreted them as his signature psychedelic, anime-style characters, creating an environment that cultivated spirituality and encouraged healing in the aftermath of the catastrophe.

By the early 2000s, Murakami's style had captivated the imagination of younger artists and spurred an art movement in Japan that came to be known as 'Superflat'. Inspired by the kawaii aesthetics, Superflat artists seek to conflate the dichotomies of high and low art while combining the flatness of traditional Japanese painting with references to both Eastern and Western popular cultures.

Since his introduction to the international art world in the 1990s, Murakami has ventured beyond the galleries to work as a curator and entrepreneur. In 2001, he organised a group show titled Superflat at MOCA Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood. Other notable exhibitions curated by Murakami include Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture at Japan Society Gallery, New York (2005); Kazunori Hamana, Yuji Ueda, and Otani Workshop at Blum & Poe, New York (2016); and Juxtapoz x Superflat at Vancouver Art Gallery (2016). Murakami has also been the head of his company, Kaikai Kiki, since 2001. The company represents the forerunners of the Superflat movement, such as Chiho Aoshima, Chinatsu Ban and Aya Takano, and supports aspiring Japanese artists.

Murakami completed his studies at Tokyo University of the Arts and holds a PhD in nihonga. He has exhibited extensively around the world, including Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Paris, Frankfurt and Qatar. In 2010, his sculptures and paintings were displayed in 15 rooms of the Palace of Versailles as part of his first major retrospective in France. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago also arranged a survey of his works in 2017, many of which had never been shown in North America. An equally recognised artist in his homeland, Murakami was awarded the 66th Art Encouragement Prize by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2016.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2018

Takashi Murakami Featured Artworks

Tokyo Tower* by Takashi Murakami contemporary artwork
Takashi MurakamiTokyo Tower*, 2009Offset print
68 x 68 cm
Perrotin Enquire about this work
Enso: The Heart* by Takashi Murakami contemporary artwork
Takashi MurakamiEnso: The Heart*, 2016Offset print
68 x 68 cm
Perrotin Enquire about this work
MGST, 1962- 2011* by Takashi Murakami contemporary artwork
Takashi MurakamiMGST, 1962- 2011*, 2012Offset print
65 x 57 cm
Perrotin Enquire about this work

Takashi Murakami Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Takashi Murakami, Superflat Doraemon at Perrotin, Tokyo
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19 November 2019–25 January 2020 Takashi Murakami Superflat Doraemon Perrotin, Tokyo
Contemporary art exhibition, Takashi Murakami, Baka at Perrotin, Paris
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16 October–21 December 2019 Takashi Murakami Baka Perrotin, Paris
Contemporary art exhibition, Takashi Murakami, From Superflat to Bubblewrap at STPI, Singapore
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13 July–14 September 2019 Takashi Murakami From Superflat to Bubblewrap STPI, Singapore

Takashi Murakami Represented By

Takashi Murakami In Ocula Magazine

Basel Tov! Art Basel 2015 Ocula Report Basel Tov! Art Basel 2015 By Diana d'Arenberg, Basel

With over 200 fairs held every year, I feel like a hamster stuck on an ever-spinning wheel. I just can’t seem to hop off, and after several years of this it has all become a bit of a blur.

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Takashi Murakami In Related Press

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TAKASHI MURAKAMI IN WONDERLAND Related Press TAKASHI MURAKAMI IN WONDERLAND 29 January 2019, ArtAsiaPacific

Takashi Murakami in Wonderland was Murakami's first solo show in mainland China and Perrotin's second exhibition in its posh 1,200-square-meter Shanghai space. According to Perrotin's press release, it was also the artist's largest gallery show in Asia to date, featuring recent and new works specially created for the occasion. At the gallery's...

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Perrotin Opens New Space in Shanghai with Takashi Murakami Related Press Perrotin Opens New Space in Shanghai with Takashi Murakami 2 January 2019, Whitewall

In November 2018, Perrotin debuted its fourth gallery in Asia in the heart of Shanghai. The space was inaugurated with the exhibition Takashi Murakami in Wonderland , on view through January 5. Just after the opening, Whitewall caught up with the woman behind the new location, Etsuko Nakajima.

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'To Escape Anxiety, There Was Sci-Fi': Takashi Murakami on His Early Years, Francis Bacon, and Kanye West Related Press 'To Escape Anxiety, There Was Sci-Fi': Takashi Murakami on His Early Years, Francis Bacon, and Kanye West 8 June 2018, ARTnews

In 1980, when the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami was 17 years old, he saw the anime movie Galaxy Express 999 , about a boy finding his way as an astral traveler. 'It was like my spirit was flown away into outer space,' he remembered. 'This was around the time that Japan went into a bubble economy—there was a festive mood, but as an...

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Birthday buzz and secret messages at Takashi Murakami retrospective Related Press Birthday buzz and secret messages at Takashi Murakami retrospective 3 February 2018, Wallpaper*

It seems that Vancouver has been rather superflattened by the arrival of Takashi Murakami – or at the very least supercharged. The Japanese international art world star arrived in town to open his retrospective exhibition The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg , on the eve of his 56th birthday, to a palpable civic buzz. He was even presented with a special...

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Takashi Murakami In Video & Audio

ASIA NOW 2018 || Takashi Murakami's Superflat Collection, Presented by Akiko Miki Related Video & Audio ASIA NOW 2018 || Takashi Murakami's Superflat Collection, Presented by Akiko Miki 1 November 2018, ASIA NOW

Akiko Miki, International Artistic Director of the Benesse Art Site in Naoshima, Japan, presents one of the most unconventional collector's stories in Japan, that of the artist Takashi Murakami, as well as the exhibition she curated in 2016 at the Yokohama Museum of Art on Murakami's collection.

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