When I manage to snatch the tail of an idea, I must then transport a fragment of it to a completely different region of my brain . . . Once a deadline is met, that region can relax, so I graft the new idea onto that relaxed region in order to nurture and grow it. This is the process I endlessly repeat, and as such, I can never see the end of it; each day of unease is followed by another, and only for a moment when a project is complete do I get to experience a modicum of liberation. As a distant result of such a thankless, humorless repetition, interesting works get made.
Gagosian is pleased to present Change the Rule!, new paintings and sculptures by Takashi Murakami.
Murakami seamlessly blends commercial imagery, anime, manga, and traditional Japanese styles and subjects, revealing the themes and questions that connect past and present, East and West, technology and fantasy. His paintings, sculptures, and films are populated by repeated motifs and evolving characters of his own creation. Together with dystopian themes and contemporary references, he revitalizes narratives of transcendence in continuation of the nonconformist legacy of a group of eighteenth-century Japanese artists known as the Edo eccentrics.
Change the Rule! reveals myriad variations of Murakami’s own imagery, each combination generating new meaning. His first character, Mr. DOB, appears in pink and blue, floating over a platinum background; stares forward with wide eyes in a painted fiber-reinforced plastic sculpture; and melts and mutates in Tan Tan Bo a.k.a. Gerotan: Having vomited five viscera and six bowels along with a lump of ego, he swallows them back into his empty stomach as everything disperses into the void; along the process he starts his journey into meditation. (2018), a mural-sized painting in which DOB, with fidget-spinners for eyes, explodes with countless permutations of himself. Large cast and painted sculptures of Kaikai (a white, rabbitlike character) and Kiki (a three-eyed pink figure) further underscore Murakami’s interest in paradox, as the adjective kikikaikai describes something that is dangerous yet appealing.
In 2002 and 2017 in Japan, Murakami participated in The Doraemon Exhibitions, group shows of contemporary artworks inspired by the famous manga character, a time-traveling catlike robot who befriends a young boy named Nobita Nobi. For the current exhibition, he has produced new paintings depicting Nobita and Doraemon waving in front of the Anywhere Door, a device that allows its user to teleport. Surrounded by multicolored smiling flowers, the portal opens onto a plane of shimmering gold. Three shaped canvases show Doraemon from the back, his outline filled with clusters of more smiling flowers.
Granting entry through the Anywhere Door, Doraemon and Nobita are whimsical parallels to a pair of mythical animals that often guard the entrances of Buddhist temples. One of the animals (known as komainu) is usually a lion, derived from the Chinese lion motif (karajishi), the roots of which can be traced to the Egyptian sphinx. In The Lion of the Kingdom that Transcends Death (2018), Murakami depicts a karajishi resting atop an arching bridge of polychromatic skulls. The painting One encounters a multitude of hardships and disasters along the way to the netherworld, yet this process allows one to take the proper form of a human being and thus attain Buddhahood. (2018) contains further references to Nihonga subjects: a white elephant borrowed from the work of Edo period artist Itō Jakuchū emerges from an immense panorama of immortal hermits, maidens, birds, babies, and more, set in a vibrant, swirling ocean.
「改變規則！」展覽展出一系列村上隆創意變奏的作品，每個組合也展現全新的含意。他的首個自創角色Mr. DOB以粉紅色和藍色造型登場，並在鉑金背景中飄浮，又或變成塗漆纖維加固塑膠雕塑，睜大雙眼凝視前方，而在《Tan Tan Bo 又名Gerotan: 嘔吐出五臟六腑以及一個自我，隨著一切散入虛空，他將它們吞回空腹，在這個過程中他開始了他的冥想之旅》（Tan Tan Bo a.k.a. Gerotan: Having vomited five viscera and six bowels along with a lump of ego, he swallows them back into his empty stomach as everything disperses into the void; along the process he starts his journey into meditation.，2018年）壁畫尺寸的畫作中，DOB經歷融化和變異，雙眼化為指尖陀螺，再分裂出無數變異版本。Kaikai（像兔子的白色人物）和Kiki（三眼粉紅色人物）的大型鑄造和塗漆雕塑，進一步彰顯村上隆對自相矛盾事物的興趣，因為「kikikaikai」正是形容危險而吸引的事物。
多啦A夢和大雄站在隨意門旁邊，就像一對在神話中守護佛寺入口的神獸，它們的形象源自於中國的獅子圖騰，他的根源甚至可以追溯到古埃及的獅身人面像。在《超越死亡的王國獅子》（The Lion of the Kingdom that Transcends Death，2018年）中，村上隆描繪一隻唐獅子伏在由彩色骷髏頭組成的拱橋上。另外，他的畫作《人們在前往陰界的路途中會遇到許多艱辛和災難，但這個過程迫使人們去感受生之為人的困苦，從而超渡成佛。》 （One encounters a multitude of hardships and disasters along the way to the netherworld, yet this process allows one to take the proper form of a human being and thus attain Buddhahood.， 2018年）蘊含更多源自日本畫的元素：白色大象源自江戶時代藝術家伊藤若冲的作品，它在畫滿了不朽的隱士、少女、雀鳥，以及嬰兒等元素的偌大的汪洋全景圖中浮現。
村上隆於1962年生於東京，現於當地定居及工作。他的作品現藏於日本金澤21世紀美術館、首爾Leeum三星現代藝術博物館、澳洲布里斯本昆士蘭博物館、基輔PinchukArtCentre、芝加哥當代藝術博物館、洛杉磯當代藝術博物館、波士頓美術館、三藩市現代藝術博物館、明尼阿波利斯沃克藝術中心，以及紐約現代藝術博物館。近期的博物館展覽包括法國凡爾賽宮「Takashi Murakami Versailles」展覽（2010年）、多哈卡達博物館管理局「Murakami-Ego」展覽（2012年）、米蘭王宮「Arhat Cycle」展覽（2014年）、東京森美術館「Murakami: The 500 Arhats」展覽（2015年）、奧斯陸阿斯特魯普費恩利美術館「Murakami by Murakami」展覽（2017年）、紐約水牛城艾普萊特諾克思美術館「Takashi Murakami: The Deep End of the Universe」展覽、莫斯科車庫當代藝術館「Takashi Murakami. Under the Radiation Falls」展覽（2017年）、芝加哥當代藝術博物館「The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg」展覽（2017年，2018年巡展至加拿大溫哥華美術館及德州沃斯堡現代美術館）。村上隆是Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd.的創辦人，該公司專營藝術製作及藝術管理，除了為他製作作品，也為新晉藝術家提供支援。
Murakami on Ceramics
Takashi Murakami writes about his commitment to the work of Japanese ceramic artists associated with the seikatsu kōgei, or lifestyle crafts, movement.
Takashi Murakami and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hans Ulrich Obrist interviews the artist on the occasion of his 2012 exhibition Takashi Murakami: Flowers & Skulls at Gagosian, Hong Kong.
Takashi Murakami at LACMA
In a conversation recorded at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Takashi Murakami describes the process behind three major large-scale paintings, including Qinghua (2019), inspired by the motifs painted on a Chinese Yuan Dynasty porcelain vase.
Join us for an exclusive look at the installation and opening reception of Murakami & Abloh: “AMERICA TOO”.
Future History: Takashi Murakami and Virgil Abloh
Following their artistic collaboration in London, Takashi Murakami and Virgil Abloh, the recently appointed Louis Vuitton menswear designer, spoke with Derek Blasberg about how they met, their admiration for each other, and the power of collaboration to educate and impassion new audiences.
Nobuo Tsuji vs. Takashi Murakami
From 2009 to 2011 the eminent art historian Nobuo Tsuji and Takashi Murakami engaged in a reimagined e-awase (painting contest). In this twenty-one-round contest, newly published in Battle Royale! Japanese Art History, Tsuji selects historical works and Murakami responds creatively. Round 6 centers on the Edo Eccentric painter Soga Shōhaku and his monumental Dragon and Clouds (1763).
December 9–15, 2020
Takashi Murakami seamlessly blends commercial imagery, anime, manga, and traditional Japanese styles and subjects, revealing the themes and questions that connect past and present, East and West, technology and fantasy. His paintings, sculptures, and films are populated by repeated motifs and evolving characters of his own creation. Together with dystopian themes and contemporary references, he revitalizes narratives of transcendence in continuation of the nonconformist legacy of a group of eighteenth-century Japanese artists known as the Edo eccentrics.
Photo: Claire Dorn
In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow
November 10, 2014–January 17, 2015
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