Takashi Murakami: Under the Radiation Falls

Exhibition, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia.


From September 29, 2017 until February 4, 2018
The exhibition spans several periods of the artist’s career from the mid-1990s to now. Presenting his work in the broader context of Japanese culture, it pays homage to Murakami ’s long-term project to creatively unite and question Eastern and Western traditions. Consisting of five sections that each explore a particular phenomenon in Japanese culture that has been formally or semantically examined by Murakami, the show reveals the artist’s inquiries into the nuanced facets of Japanese culture and public consciousness, blurring the line between high and low culture while merging various media into one continuous flow of images.
The first section, Geijutsu (芸術, Learning and Technique), will focus on the genealogy of Murakami’s paintings and his ideas regarding the pictorial space and the artist’s craft. Having trained as a classical Nihonga painter, Murakami’s work is partly rooted in traditional Japanese painting, which is characterized by a certain flatness of image and what art historian Nobuo Tsuji (Lineage of Eccentrics: Matabei to Kuniyoshi, 2012) calls “eccentricity:” an expressionist aspect of the Japanese painterly tradition. This section also introduces a theme that will recur throughout the exhibition: the importance of daily routine and traditional labor, be it the making of engravings and paintings, ceramics, or sushi.
The exhibition at Garage will include more than eighty paintings, drawings (including prints), and films by Murakami from the collections of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and private collections. The exhibition also includes traditional Japanese engravings and paintings from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, various artifacts from Murakami's studio, and photographs and examples of manga from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
A Russian-language catalogue will be published on the occasion of the exhibition, the first comprehensive publication on the artist in Russian.
Takashi Murakami (b. 1962, Tokyo, Japan) lives and works in Tokyo and New York. He studied at Tokyo University of the Arts, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1986, his master’s degree in 1988, and his PhD. in 1993. He founded the Hiropon factory in Tokyo in 1996, which later evolved into Kaikai Kiki, an art production and art management corporation. In addition to the production and marketing of Murakami's art and related work, Kaikai Kiki functions as a supportive environment for the fostering of emerging artists.