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Takashi Murakami

SuperNova

1990

Combine the past with the present

World star of contemporary art, the Japanese Takashi Murakami is known for his works with acid colors and a resolutely manga aesthetic. But his work, apparently frivolous and childish, is actually much more subtle than it seems.

 

His work Super Nova , made up of seven 3-meter-high panels juxtaposed to form an ensemble more than 10 meters long, offers an excellent example of this false futility. If its motifs evoke a comic book universe, the work recalls, through the assembly of vertical panels 

as much as by its silver background, the art of Japanese lacquered screens from the 18th century often depicting still lifes. By associating modern graphics and an age-old tradition, Murakami gives a particular meaning to his work: his monstrous mushrooms, which invoke – like the title Super Nova – the recent memory of the atomic mushrooms of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, are associated with the history of Japan, as an integral part of a heritage as radiant as it is dramatic that the country must assume in a process of resilience.

What we can take away:

The novelty sometimes seems to proceed from a clean slate policy, as if we had to turn our backs on the past to open up to the future. In reality, summoning an aspect of the past to integrate it into our project can give it meaning and weight by anchoring it in a history from which our modernity stems.

Related theme: Creativity
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