Takashi Murakami is a Japanese artist and founder of the Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.
Murakami was born in Tokyo, Japan on January 1, 1962. He studied at Musashino Art University and Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and graduated from Nihon University’s College of Arts with a degree in oil painting.
Murakami has had many solo exhibitions throughout the world and his work is included in museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Tate Modern, London; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center Minneapolis; Hirshhorn Museum Washington DC.; Centre Pompidou Paris; Palazzo Grassi Venice.
Murakami’s work is not only about what you see on the canvas, but also what you see when looking at it from afar. When viewing his murals up close, they’re actually made up of many smaller paintings which can be seen when viewing it from afar.
Murakami’s massive murals and efforts beyond the canvas are a form of art that has been around for centuries, but their use has evolved over time.
Murakami’s Love for Anime and Kanye West
The Japanese artist, Murakami Takashi, is a huge fan of anime. He is also a big fan of Kanye West. Murakami has even created an anime series called “Murakami Land” that features his own original characters. He has also turned some of Kanye West’s songs into anime music videos.
About Takashi Flowers
I am releasing Murakami.Flowers in February—the lunar new year—of the Year of the Tiger, 2022.
There are 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar. I was born in the Year of the Tiger and this is the fifth time my sign has come around in my life, which means I am 60 years old this year.
This time, I’m taking a big step away from the world of New York-style contemporary art and into the world of the metaverse.
My awakening to the metaverse happened in the summer of 2020, the first year of the pandemic, when I saw the way my children interact with “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” One day they were watching some fireworks display within the game while talking on Zoom with their school friends, whom they could no longer meet in person, admiring wholeheartedly how beautiful it was. I saw the reality of the shifting values when I realized that these children could discern beauty within a small video game screen.
This experience was similar to the one I had when I first encountered contemporary art at the age of 26, when I was shocked by how there was always a gap between what you saw and the concept, and realized that once I understood the context behind the gap, the artworks took on entirely different appearances. I shuddered with a sensation that made me want to roar in excitement.
Then, I received a really casual invitation from RTFKT to collaborate. I felt that I could learn a lot about metaverse from these young people. I also thought that their genuine love for sneakers was something I could trust, so I accepted their invitation.
In the meantime, my company has been developing a handheld Tamagotchi-style game to immerse ourselves in the world of games, and we have also been preparing our own smart contract for Murakami.Flowers.
Clone X project with RTFKT was released in December 2021, and at the moment I’m still amazed at the magnitude of reaction it generated.