Flower collaboration with MADSAKI

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Although the works may appear to have a generic graffiti air to them, their surfaces exude MADSAKI’s peculiar brand of sorrow, which I appreciate.”
    Takashi Murakami, quoted in foreword to the “HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW”, MADSAKI’s solo exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery, 19 May – 15 June 2017.

    Flower Collaboration with MADSAKI, executed in 2017, provides a dazzling and kaleidoscopic window into the artist’s celebrated practice of hyper-conceptual iconographies and highly stylised techniques, and captures a glimpse of his enduring friendship with an artist also hailing from his home country, Madsaki. In true contemporary fashion, the friendship of these two artists began on Instagram. Having followed each other on social media, it was Madsaki’s ‘Wannabe series’ Matisse (a spray-painted, smiley-faced reworking of Dance II) that finally led Murakami to reach out and purchase this piece. Brought up in different cultural backgrounds, Murakami found Madsaki to be “overly friendly and loud-mouthed” (Takashi Murakami, ‘Madsaki: Here Today, Gone Tommorw’ in A Message from Takashi Murakami, 2017, online) when they first met in person. While Murakami coined and developed the Superflat movement embodying the bold, bright and kawaii (cute) idiosyncrasies of Japanese pop culture, Madsaki grew up as a Japanese immigrant in suburban New Jersey, learning the ropes of street art as part of the NYC collective Barnstormers. Yet now as colleagues at Kaikai Kiki, Murakami’s own modern day Warhol factory, Murakami claims that despite their cultural differences, once they began to work together he fell “in love with [the] part of [Madsaki] that is an artist” (Takashi Murakami, ‘Madsaki: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow’ in A Message from Takashi Murakami, 2017, online.)

    Flower collaboration with MADSAKI bursts with energy as a dazzling array of monochromatic smiling flowers spread seemingly endlessly across the canvas, over a background of entangled skulls. Rendered carefully in black, the signature motif of skulls has been a fixation of Murakami ever since the meeting with his mentor, the Japanese art historian Nobuo Tsuji, in 2009. Imbedding a deeper engagement in his work with historical Japanese art, he began incorporating the decorative and patterned Rinpa style that originated from the Edo-period of artistic revival through the depiction of skulls, appearing as a bed of wild flowers when seen from a distance, to emphasise the fragility of life. This idea of death is juxtaposed with Madsaki’s signature smiley faces painted in stark white and patterning the canvas with drips of paint, conveying the frenetic energy of graffiti. The motif of the smiling flower first appeared in Madsaki’s Hickory Dickory Dock show in 2016, where Murakami gave him free reign to apply his graffiti-inspired style to the flower motif, imbuing his iconic ebullient flowers with a hint of sorrow.

  • Catalogue Essay

    「雖然作品可能看起來還是有本質上的塗鴉模樣,但表面滲透出 MADSAKI 特有的一種憂傷,這我很欣賞。」(村上隆,錄於「今日存在,明日已消失」之前言,MADSAKI 於 Kaikai Kiki 畫廊之個展,2017年5月19日至6月15日)
    《Flower Collaboration with MADSAKI》作於2017年,如一個千變萬化、令人目眩的窗口,讓人一窺藝術家最為人所知的超級概念性圖像和高度格式化技巧,也捕捉到一絲他與另一位日本藝術家 Madsaki 的持久友誼。兩位藝術家的友誼是從 Instagram 開始的,非常符合網路時代的當代作風,在社交媒體上互相關注了一段時間後,最終 Madsaki 的「Wannabe 系列」馬蒂斯(一個噴漆、笑臉版本的《舞蹈 II》)讓村上隆主動聯繫,購買了這件作品。兩位藝術家在不同的文化背景成長,第一次碰面時,村上隆曾說 Madsaki「過於親切、口無遮攔」(村上隆,〈Madsaki: 今日存在,明日已消失〉, 《村上隆之言》,2017年,網路文章)。當村上隆創造並發展代表日本流行文化之大膽、鮮明、卡哇伊(可愛風)的「超扁平」運動時,Madsaki正以一名日本移民的身份在新澤西州近郊長大,加入了紐約的 Barnstormers 團體,學習街頭藝術的點滴。而在村上隆自己的現代版本沃荷工廠 Kaikai Kiki,他們成為了同事,村上隆稱,儘管他們的文化有差異,但開始一起工作後,他「愛上了 Madsaki 藝術家的那部分」(村上隆,〈Madsaki: 今日存在,明日已消失〉, 《村上隆之言》,2017年,網路文章)

    《Flower collaborateon with MADSAKI》洋溢著力量,在一堆糾纏的骷髏背景前,一列耀眼的單色系微笑花朵似乎在無限地延伸,鋪滿畫布。骷髏以黑色線條細膩勾勒而出,是村上隆自2009年見了自己的老師,日本藝術史學家辻惟雄後就一直保留的標誌性圖案。他在自己的作品中蘊藏了更深層的歷史性日本傳統藝術,融入江戶時代藝術復興時的琳派風格,富裝飾性和圖案形態,骷髏在遠處看就好似一片野花,強調生命的脆弱。死亡的概念與 Madsaki 標誌性的白色笑臉放置在一起,還有畫面滴落的顏料,傳遞著塗鴉的熱力。微笑花朵的圖案在Madsaki 2016年的「鐘聲滴答滴」展覽中首次亮相,當時村上隆給予他絕對的自主權,發揮其塗鴉為靈感的風格,在標誌性熱情奔放的花朵圖案中注入一絲憂愁。

    《Flower Collaboration with MADSAKI》 不僅是兩位合作者個人藝術風格的碰撞,更見證了一個新創作模式的誕生,它穿越當代藝術界並賦予新定義,超越傳統藝術手法和媒介的界限,2017年加州 Complex Con 潮流大展後不久,《Flower Collaboration with MADSAKI》便發表了三色的絲網印刷作品。

  • Artist Bio

    Takashi Murakami

    Japanese • 1962

    Takashi Murakami is best known for his contemporary combination of fine art and pop culture. He uses recognizable iconography like Mickey Mouse and cartoonish flowers and infuses it with Japanese culture. The result is a boldly colorful body of work that takes the shape of paintings, sculptures and animations.

    In the 1990s, Murakami founded the Superflat movement in an attempt to expose the "shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture." The artist plays on the familiar aesthetic of mangas, Japanese-language comics, to render works that appear democratic and accessible, all the while denouncing the universality and unspecificity of consumer goods. True to form, Murakami has done collaborations with numerous brands and celebrities including Kanye West, Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams and Google.

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Flower collaboration with MADSAKI

signed and dated 'TAKASHI 2017' on the overlap
acrylic on canvas mounted on aluminium frame
141 x 120 cm. (55 1/2 x 47 1/4 in.)
Executed in 2017.

HK$1,400,000 - 2,400,000 

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Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Day Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 May 2019