Murakami's Cat Coin Bank Game has concluded. Who has won this heated battle?
The originator and proponent of Superflat theory, which reconstructs Japanese traditional paintings and the origin of Japanese contemporary art through visual premises of anime and manga. Murakami has created numerous characters including Miss Ko2 and Mr. DOB that reflect the otaku culture and presents them in the forms of intentionally kitsch sculptures and acutely two-dimensional paintings antithetical to the Western perspective techniques. Murakami’s cultural theory based on subcultures not only deconstructs the highbrow/lowbrow hierarchy but critically illustrates the post-World War II Japanese psychology, establishing a discourse unique to Japan in the increasingly globalizing art scene. The artist continues to attract a wide-ranging audience beyond contemporary art through his multifaceted activities including his collaboration with Louis Vuitton and focuses on street culture and contemporary ceramics. The final installment of his Superflat trilogy of curated exhibitions, Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture (New York, 2005), was awarded The Best Thematic Museum Show in New York by AICA that year. His first retrospective, ©MURAKAMI (2007 - 2009) toured four cities in North America and Europe, starting with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He has since been holding major solo exhibitions around the world, including at the Palace of Versailles (2010), Al Riwaq Exhibition Hall (Doha, 2012), the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2015), the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow, 2017), Tai Kwun Contemporary (Hong Kong, 2019), and The Broad (Los Angeles, 2022).
In recent years, Murakami has taken on NFTs, releasing his “Murakami.Flowers” and “CLONE X,” a collaborative project with RTFKT. He received a Special Achievement award at the Webby Awards in 2022. Also in 2022, he has held his solo exhibition, An Arrow through History, at Gagosian in New York, with the two worlds of digital and the real as its theme.