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date: 09 April 2020

Murakami, Takashilocked

Extract

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1962, in Tokyo.

Painter, sculptor.

Neo-Pop Art.

Takashi Murakami trained for many years in nihonga, traditional Japanese-style painting, at the prestigious Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, receiving his PhD in 1993. Although he received rigorous training in traditional techniques, Murakami more closely identifies with the Japanese geek subculture of otaku which emerged in the 1980s surrounding anime (animation) and manga (comic book) art. Murakami’s entire body of work is a melding of the high and low aspects of Japanese culture, using comic book conventions to construct an elaborate private narrative as well as articulate postwar national identity. Although closely aligned with the trajectory of American Pop Art, Murakami’s practice advances the work of Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons by addressing concerns specific to Japan in the face of global cultural influence.

In the late 1990s, Murakami put forth the theory of Superflat, which later became the title of a group exhibition he organised for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Los Angeles, in ...

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