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Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo, Japan, and was educated at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, from which he received his B.F.A., M.F.A. and Ph.D., completing his doctorate in the field of traditional Japanese painting.

Through his artwork, Murakami questions the distinctions between East and West, past and present, fine art and popular culture. In doing so, he has proposed the concept of the Superflat, interpreting modern Japanese culture as being in a state in which the distance between high and low has been collapsed. Going beyond the production of artworks, Murakami surprised the world with his 2002 collaboration with Louis Vuitton, which erased the line between art and commerce.

Murakami also challenges accepted notions of history and culture through his activities as a curator. His three-part Superflat exhibition, which toured to major museums in the United States and Europe, introduced Japanese artists, animators, cartoonists and others to an international audience, under the premise that categories of creativity are not as rigid in Japan and that all of the works being shown might be thought of as art. The exhibition’s final installation, Little Boy, suggested a new interpretation of history through an exposition of the politics of the atomic bomb and postwar Japanese culture.