At first sight, it appears brand new, pure Tokyo pop. But The Japanese Experience: Inevitable reveals far more than the successful cloning of morphed manga motifs onto stretched canvas and museum walls. It represents eight positions in contemporary Japanese art and scrutinizes their complex visual vocabulary, noting references to Japanese and Western art traditions as frequently as the borrowing of mass culture motifs from the realms of manga and anime. Takashi Murakami's MR. DOB questions the place of contemporary art in our global society; Aya Takano's glowing watercolors combine Japanese sensitivity, issues of female identity, and sci-fi; Masahiko Kuwahara's mutant animals provide shades of softness and mysterious openness, and Yoshitomo Nara's reworking of historical Japanese woodcuts disturbs the floating world. Not only are the artists' visual repertoires new and surprising, but their creative methods and strategies help conquer a public that is mostly untouched by contemporary art. Published in association with the Ursula Blickle Foundation.
Born in 1959 in Hirosaki, Japan, Yoshitomo Nara is one of the most influential artists to emerge from Japan during the Pop art movement of the 1990s. Since his initial U.S. solo exhibition at Blum & Poe Gallery, he has had one-man shows at the Institut fur Moderne Kunst Nurnberg, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Yokohama Museum of Art. His work was included in "Super Flat" at the MOCA Gallery at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, and at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. He continues to live and work in Japan.
Takashi Murakami is a Japanese-born artist and author who now lives in New York and Tokyo. His work has been shown in museums throughout the world, including P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Walker Art Center; and many others.