Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo. He trained at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he studied traditional Japanese painting. He currently lives and works between New York and Tokyo. Murakami finds material for his sculptures, paintings and installations in the iconography of contemporary Japanese society. Despite the obvious references to western pop art (Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons in particular), Murakami’s practice has its roots in Japanese mass culture, and focuses in particular on the world of Otaku, a Japanese subculture of Manga fans, which was widespread among Manga fans in the 1980s. Murakami came up with a term to describe his work: ‘superflat’, which defines a two-dimensional aesthetic, unified by polished surfaces and colours, and reminiscent of the traditional Japanese style of the Edo period (1603-1868). In similar way, his work cancels out the hierarchy between high and low culture, between the original and the copy, and between art and mass-produced commodities - in perfect adherence with a postmodern logic.
Murakami’s work has been exhibited at Palazzo Reale, Milan (2014), Château de Versailles, France (2010), Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2009). His work was shown at Palazzo Grassi in the exhibitions ‘Il mondo vi appartiene’ (2011-12), ‘Mapping the Studio’ (2009-11), ‘A selection Post-pop’ (2006-7) and ‘Where are We Going?’ (2006).