Drawing on Japan’s political, cultural and social history, Takashi Murakami cultivates a world apart, both dark and fabulous, which combines Kawaii aesthetics with references to his country’s traumas, such as the atomic bomb or, more recently, the tsunami. Through the multiplicity of forms and materials represented in this exhibition (such as paintings, sculpture and videos), the prolific work of Takashi Murakami gives free rein to an unbridled imagination, saturated with colours and populated by fantastic creatures, half-human- half-animal, mixing popular and scholarly cultures, Buddhist iconography and manga, tradition and modernity, West and East, ancestral techniques and advanced technology.
This display, conceived in strict collaboration with the artist, is organised around three motifs:
– Gallery 9 is dedicated to DOB, the first character invented by the artist in 1993 and considered to be his alter ego. He appears both in the guise of a cute rodent in the style of Mickey Mouse and as a malicious, fierce monster, covered in eyes and sharp teeth. Sequence A, located on the 2nd floor of the building (galleries 9, 10 and 11), offers an immersion into the world of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (born in 1962).
– Gallery 10 shows a monumental fresco exhibited in Paris for the first time. Entitled The Octopus eats its own leg (2017); it depicts characters from Chinese mythology surrounded by lavish, marvellous fauna and flora. By borrowing from the traditional iconography of 18th century Japanese painting and combining it with the style of the great historical frescoes, the artist delivers a contemporary version of the Eight Immortals of the Taoist religion.
– Gallery 11 features a space of Kawaii (meaning ”cute” in Japanese). The artist reinterprets this Japanese aesthetic through a variety of forms and media: sculpture, wallpapers, flower paintings and animated films inspired by manga.
Throughout the galleries of the Frank Gehry building, “In Tune with the World” unveils a new selection of artists from the collection, of several different mediums, bringing together modern and contemporary works, most of which have never before been exhibited in these spaces.
Exhibition Dates: 11th April – 27th August 2018
Address: 8, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Bois de Boulogne 75116 Paris