Takashi Murakami - Tongue + Chic Hong Kong Friday, November 8, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Gift of Takashi Murakami, Private Collection, Brooklyn, NY

  • Catalogue Essay

    For renowned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, the high art/low art binary is a foreign concept and indeed his work easily traverses this artificial divide. His collaborations with Louis Vuitton and Vans link to longstanding traditions in Japanese art especially from the Edo period (1603–1868) when wealthy patrons wore clothing by artists whose other work ranged from private art commissions to popular mass-produced prints. The pattern Murakami created for his collaboration with Vans suggests both Western vanitas imagery and Buddhist concepts of ukiyo, the floating world, where all is a merely transitory. It seems that a deeper lesson lies beneath the surface of these shoes.

    ©Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Takashi Murakami x Vault by Vans Slip-On LX (Skull) Blue, 2015

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Contact Specialist
Celina Ho
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Tongue + Chic

Shanghai Exhibition 9 November - 13 December 2019