TOKYO — About a year ago the Yokohama Museum of Art offered visitors the chance to peer inside the collection of artist and curator Takashi Murakami. Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection (Tokyo, October 31, 2015 – March 6, 2016). The Creator’s Project said there was little to be surprised at, but the exhibition reinforced what we know about the artist’s own work.
…and one thing we can quickly gather from the works displayed is something we already know about Murakami— that he values the synthesis of high and low cultures, Eastern and Western traditions, old and new. From Japanese classical Edo paintings, to the darkly whimsical contemporary works of Yohsitomo Nara, to Frank Benson’s 3d-printed sculpture of Juliana Huxtable, Murakami’s artistic passions demonstrate his amazing range of interests.
From the Museum:
While energetically pursuing his creativity as an artist, Murakami has also been active as a curator, gallerist, and producer. In recent years, in particular, he has become an avid collector, acquiring a wide variety of artworks in and out of Japan with a perceptive eye and unique aesthetic sensibility. This little known collection, while loosely focused on contemporary art, includes old Japanese and Asian artifacts, European antiques, contemporary pottery, and folk art and crafts. Murakami’s guiding concept of Superflat not only refers to formal aspects he identifies with Japanese art, such as flatness of the picture plane and decorativeness, but also extends to a view of art that rejects hierarchical divisions between different artistic genres or eras and frees artistic activities from definitional boundaries. It is a dynamic, expansive concept that applies to the entirety of the artist’s life and activity as he wrestles with the big question, “What is art?” from various angles.
This exhibition of Murakami’s unique collection, with its overwhelming quantity and diversity, will provide an insight into the sources of the artist’s aesthetic ideas, the nature of art and desire, and the mechanisms that create value in contemporary society, while also encouraging viewers to question art’s conventional context.
About the Artist
Murakami (b. 1962) received the first PhD in “Nihonga” (Japanese Painting) to be granted by the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Fine Arts and has since come to be known worldwide for his extremely polished works blending contemporary art and traditional Japanese painting, high culture and pop culture, East and West. He has held a number of solo exhibitions at prestigious museums around the world.
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramics and contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.