Much has been written about this profound artist described by many as the Andy Warhol of Asia, whose mission in his career is to define art in Asia, and to bring forth Japanese art.
In Flowers and Skulls at the Gagosian Hong Kong, he shares what it feels like living in a world of conflict- In joy and terror, in pain and happiness.
The combination of Japanese style popular imagery, Manga complements the pop art theme made popular by the western art world. The negative connotation of skulls is lost in the myriads of Murakami’s signature smiling flowers, all against bright cheerful colored backgrounds of blue, green, pink, yellow, etc.
Murakami combines the traditional Japanese art form Nihonga with the Otaku sub culture (which he frankly confesses to be).
The classical Japanese art effects contributes to further flatness, and also softens the dynamic tones of the Otaku subjects, giving the overall work some sort of balance, so that it is not overwhelming.
The mix of good and bad and happy and sad and joy and pain really intrigued me. I also enjoyed this particular piece where it is simpler and it seems to tell me – all is peaceful and inconspicuous unless you take a step back and you realize the good and bad are harmonious.
Some behind the scenes of Murakami’s workspace: http://arrestedmotion.com/2013/01/takashi-murakami-studio-look/?images=1
A good read about the Flowers and Skulls write up by the gallery – http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/takashi-murakami–november-29-2012
Catch the exhibition if you can. Also, its a treat to see a Zeng FanZhi at Gagosian at the same time!