This past Sunday, Takashi Murakami launched a self-curated exhibition entitled “Bubblewrap” at the Contemporary Art Museum in Kumamoto, Japan. The diverse presentation explores traditional Japanese art movements and their connection to current examples including Murakami’s ubiquitous Superflat practice. A majority of the expansive works on display are from the private collection of Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. with a few pieces loaned. One of the highlighted artists is Hajime Sorayama whose life-sized Sexy Robots are influenced by the expressive forms and industrial materials observed in the Mono-ha group.
“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,” said Takashi in an Instagram caption. “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 on view until March 3, 2019. Visit Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto’s website to learn more. Elsewhere, watch acclaimed camouflage artist Liu Bolin transform into “The Invisible Man.”
Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto
Chuo Ward, Kumamoto
Kumamoto Prefecture 860-0845
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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