Credit: Instagram @takashipom

Known for his contemporary works that engulf rooms with his cartoon flowers and cult collectables that are loved amongst fans, Takashi Murakami has not only become an art icon in his own country of Japan, but recognised throughout the world for his avant garde designs. Now, spanning early 2019, the artist has curated his own exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in Kumamoto, Japan.

Titled “Bubblewrap”, the artist took to his one million followers to announce his latest exhibition which will see the exploration of traditional Japanese art movements. Connected to current examples of Murakami’s famous Superflat practices, the presentation will draw from the private collection of Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. to create a truly unique display of art. Amongst the works is Hajime Sorayama’s Sexy Robots, life-size figures influenced by the expressive forms and industrial materials observed in the Mono-ha group.

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Today is the opening of an exhibition I’ve curated, Bubblewrap, that reinterprets the art movements in Japan after its defeat in the Pacific war all the way up to the present day. The exhibition title, Bubblewrap, has a veeeery long expository subtitle… “After Mono-ha, the next established art movement is Superflat, but that means the interim period overlapping the years of Japan's economic bubble has yet to be named, and I think calling it "Bubblewrap" suits it well. It especially makes sense if you incorporate the realm of ceramics. This show will contemplate this period through works including those from Takashi Murakami's collection.” The primary point of this project is to revisit and name the artistic movement of the period between Mono-ha and Superflat—between the late-1980s and 1992—right when Japan’s economy was in full bloom. I was an art school student when the so-called Bubble Economy was at its peak, and I grew up heavily influenced by the various expressive forms of the era. So there was a wave of artistic movement before the one I would later name “Superflat,” and yet that movement has never been named. This is because after the wild, jolly antics of the “bubble era," Japanese people wallowed in regret once the economic bubble burst, putting them in a state of mind where they were reluctant to reflect upon those times. However, there is now a trend towards looking back on and reevaluating the era. For example, at the recent Dior men’s show, Kim Jones featured Hajime Sorayama’s Sexy Robot on a giant scale. This exhibition, Bubblewrap, is an attempt at reconsidering the cultural environment and art movements of “bubble era” Japan and examining it relative to the current day. This exhibition is a little bit unusual in that 95% of the exhibited works are from the collection of Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., and the remaining 5% is made up of works borrowed from acquaintances, galleries, and the artists themselves. Therefore, rather than it being a comprehensive cultural outlook, it is more of a testament to Takashi Murakami’s extremely personal expertise as a curator. …Continue next page… 📷 @chiaki_kasahara_ @wakamoon

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“Today is the opening of an exhibition I’ve curated, Bubblewrap, that reinterprets the art movements in Japan after its defeat in the Pacific war all the way up to the present day,” Murakami says on his Instagram post.

“The primary point of this project is to revisit and name the artistic movement of the period between Mono-ha and Superflat—between the late-1980s and 1992—right when Japan’s economy was in full bloom. I was an art school student when the so-called Bubble Economy was at its peak, and I grew up heavily influenced by the various expressive forms of the era. So there was a wave of artistic movement before the one I would later name “Superflat,” and yet that movement has never been named.”

“Bubblewrap” is currently available to view until March 3, 2019 at the Contemporary Art Museum in Kumamoto, Japan. For more information on the new exhibition, visit the gallery website here.

Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto
2-3 Kamitoricho
Chuo Ward, Kumamoto
Kumamoto Prefecture 860-0845
Japan

thoughts?