Fifty-five works. Three decades. One visionary. The Vancouver Art Gallery presents the first-ever retrospective in Canada for international art icon Takashi Murakami, February 3 – May 6, 2018.

Featuring 55 remarkable works, some newly created for the presentation in Vancouver, Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg offers a critical and serious meditation on the current state of Japanese society in the midst of a complex, global world, while highlighting Murakami’s important role as a committed and often conflicted commentator on cultural production.

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg will survey the artist’s paintings from his earliest mature work to his recent large-scale projects, including a newly created 5m-tall sculpture as well as two multi-panel paintings created specially for the Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition. This wide-ranging exhibition will explore several key topics, including the influence of traditional Japanese painting and Buddhist folklore on Murakami’s art; his careful attention to craft and materials; and his engagement with issues affecting Japan and the larger world today, such as media culture, globalization and the threats of nuclear power.

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and is curated by MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling.

About Takashi Murakami

Born 1962 in Tokyo, Takashi Murakami earned a Ph.D. in Nihonga from Tokyo University of the Arts School of Fine Arts. He is the founder and representative of Kaikai Kiki, an art production and management company. The objectives of Kaikai Kiki are creating Murakami’s works, managing the careers of represented artists, running a gallery business, producing films and devising strategic branding plans via collaborations, among others. Murakami is well known for his corporate branding projects with Louis Vuitton, VANS, shu uemura, Issey Miyake, Lucien Pellat-Finet, Roppongi Hills, and ComplexCon, as well as collaborations with musicians such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. More recently, he has been working on film and animation productions, and released his first live-action feature film Jellyfish Eyes in 2013. He is currently working on the sequel of Jellyfish Eyes as well as an animated television series, 6HP (Six Hearts Princess). In 2008, he was selected as one of TIME magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People.” Since 2003, he has been included in the Power 100 of ArtReview for ten years straight and was ranked as 7th in 2003. He has also been engaged in a wide range of artistic undertakings such as curating shows and collecting art and other curiosities for his personal collection. Between 2002 and 2014, he regularly organized “GEISAI,” a project intended to discover and nurture young artists from Japan and Taiwan. In all, approximately 20,000 artists participated in these projects. In response to the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, he founded “newday,” a charity organization that carries out activities every year to help Japan recover from natural disasters.

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