Tag Archives: Kaikai Kiki

Cactus and POM, Takashi Murakami’s Twitter Photo

takashi twitter photo

Following Takashi Murakami on Twitter @takashipom can bring you lots of cool info and updates, although often a blank tweet is all you get! For a condensed view try his Twitter log page and use a Japanese translator. Doing just that I came across this great photo he posted of his dog. Hope you like it.


Project KO2 – free miniature Takashi Murakami sculpture.

If you attend the current Takashi Murakami exhibition at the Gagosian gallery in London you will have the chance to grab yourself a piece of art in the form of a Kaikai Kiki edition paper creation. The Guardian coverage is here

This mirrors the enormous sculpture version found in the exhibition.

Below are the photos of the one I completed – took a little time but I got there!

Project Ko2 Takashi Murakami

Project Ko2 Takashi Murakami

Project KO2 Takashi Murakami

Project KO2 Takashi Murakami

Project Ko2 Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami at the Gagosian gallery Britannia Street, Kings Cross

If your in London currently you simply have to go to the Gagosian gallery and see the new Taskahi Murakami exhibition.

Takashi Murakami Gagosian Gallery

The Gagosian gallery sets it up like this:

I think the Japanese male sexual complex originated in the two-dimensional world –animation, games and so on – which then transferred to small three-dimensional sculptures. But before my sculptures Miss Ko (1997) and My Lonesome Cowboy (1998), it had never been represented life-size.
–Takashi Murakami

In his distinctive “Superflat” style, which employs highly refined, traditional Japanese painting techniques and formats to depict a charged mix of historical subject matter, Pop, animé and otaku content within a flattened representational picture-plane, Murakami moves freely within an ever-expanding field of aesthetic issues and cultural inspirations. Parallel to his distinctive toonish formulations of utopian and dystopian themes, he has recollected and revitalized religious and secular narratives of transcendence and enlightenment favoured by non-conformist Japanese artists from the Early Modern era, commonly considered to be counterpart to the Western Romantic tradition. By situating himself within their legacy of bold and lively individualism in a manner that is entirely his own, he revealed himself to be an artist in dialogue with history and very much of his time.

Murakami’s latest group of paintings explores his complex ambivalence to the legacy of cosmopolitan painter Kuroda Seiki, who brought yōga or Western-style painting to Meiji- period Japan. Kuroda broadly promoted the genre of history painting, as well as the validity of the nude figure as a subject for art. Taking Kuroda’s famous triptych, Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment (c.1900), Murakami consciously reclaims it in a new iteration by applying traditional nihonga techniques like gold- and silver-leafing, as well as recasting the realistically rendered nude figures in contemporary manga style. When it was first shown, Kuroda’s work caused great controversy because of its content, however, as Murakami reminds in paintings such as Shunga: Gibbons (2010) and Shunga: Bow Wow (2010), Japan had embraced explicit erotic content in art as early as the twelfth century. By the Edo period, the long-established genre of shunga sought to express a varied world of contemporary sexual possibilities, often referred to as the creation of a “pornotopia,” an idealised, eroticised and fantastical world parallel to contemporary urban life. In Murakami’s contemporary shunga, graphic depictions of exaggerated and engorged male and female genitals are set against delirious backgrounds of image and pattern.

TAKASHI MURAKAMI 3-Meter Girl, 2011

3-Meter Girl, 2011

This theme continues into sculptures, which feature collaborations with key artists working in Japan’s popular otaku culture including Seiji Matsuyama — creator of the controversial manga “My Wife is an Elementary School Student” – and BOME, a figure sculptor who previously collaborated on Murakami’s first life-size sculpture, Miss Ko2 (1997), an ebullient Playboy fantasy translated into manga cuteness and proportions. Whereas Nurse Ko2 (2011) relates closely to the earlier sculpture, with its leggy, busty verticality and sexy uniform (right down to a suggestively loaded syringe), 3-Meter Girl (2011) is an absurdist composition that pushes form and content to new extremes. She stands with feet spread wide, her abundant hair roiling around her like an elaborate rococo frame as if to steady her petite body against the whopping pendular breasts whose size and weight threaten to topple her. A monumental cast and highly polished metal penis of towering proportions, Mr Big Mushroom (2011), is a realist, manmade take on the traditional stone lingam. Together with Miss Clam (2011), an inviting metal vagina, it provides an exclamation mark to the enduring obsession with sexuality in contemporary human society.

Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo, and received his BFA, MFA and PhD from the Tokyo University of the Arts (formerly the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music). He founded the Hiropon factory in Tokyo in 1996, which later evolved into Kaikai Kiki, an art production and art management corporation. In addition to the production and marketing of Murakami’s art and related work, Kaikai Kiki functions as a supportive environment for the fostering of emerging artists. Murakami is also a curator, a cultural entrepreneur, and a critical observer of contemporary Japanese society. In 2000, he organized a paradigmatic exhibition of Japanese art titled “Superflat”, which traced the origins of contemporary Japanese visual pop culture in historical Japanese art. He has continued this work in subsequent impactful exhibitions such as “Coloriage” (Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2002) and “Little Boy: The Art of Japan’s Exploding Subcultures” (Japan Society, New York, 2005).

Fresh Takashi Murakami work in progress – Kaikai Kiki in action

Thanks to the beauty of twitter, we have a sneak peek into the studio of Takashi Murakami and a piece currently being finished off. You can follow Murakami’s photo stream here:


the last act

kaikai kiki

Takashi Murkami Cube

takashi murakami cube

This stunning Superflat print is from an Edition of 300 signed and numbered by the artist in the lower right hand corner. Printed using offset lithograph foil stamping. From a new series of Takashi Murakami prints for 2010. Size: 594mm x 594mm

Murakami at Versailles

murakami versailles  Flower Matango

A seemingly odd paring – Takashi Murakami and the Versailles Palace, but from the photos here I think it works. Murakami himself sets it up:

“For a Japanese like me, the Château de Versailles is one of the greatest symbols of Western history. It is the emblem of an ambition for elegance, sophistication and art that most of us can only dream of.
Of course, we are aware that the spark that set fire to the powder of the Revolution came directly from the centre of the building.

But, in many respects, everything is transmitted to us as a fantastic tale coming from a very distant kingdom. Just as French people can find it hard to recreate in their minds an accurate image of the Samurai period, the history of this palace has become diminished for us in reality.

So it is probable that the Versailles of my imagination corresponds to an exaggeration and a transformation in my mind so that it has become a kind of completely separate and unreal world. That is what I have tried to depict in this exhibition.

I am the Cheshire cat that welcomes Alice in Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Château.

With a broad smile I invite you all to discover the wonderland of Versailles.”

murakami versailles hercules salon

murakami versailles kaikai kiki

murakami versailles  Yume Lion

murakami versailles abundance salon

Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd – labels

Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd - labels

Great label that came with my extra large Takashi Murakami cushion!