Takashi Murakami’s New Art Exhibition at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles – The Hollywood Reporter

They look as if their brains have melted. There are many characters like that in Takashi Murakami’s new exhibition, Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the tail of the rainbow, at the Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles. Facing betrayal at different stages such as alarm, brokenness, emptiness, despair, anxiety, bewilderment, and even weak, resigned serenity.

For example, his new 2022 painting, Unfamiliar people. The artist said the piece – in an interview in the garden outside the museum – “looks like a space family from the 70s or maybe the 60s” and has an “active” vibe. American image” to it.

But the driving force behind it was spending time on social media during the pandemic, and Murakami was shocked to discover the unexpected things it brought to people.

As the artist’s wall label for the piece explains, “Between the normal and the urgent, people change dramatically and people start to look like aliens to me… Wallet For example, on social media, a person who once seemed like a kind naturalist suddenly started an active protest against vaccines, denying their effectiveness and claiming that the government was lying. I feel scared of people. I feel that in times of emergency, everything about people can change, and I wanted to express this feeling.”

The 60-year-old famous artist explained: “It was really affected by COVID. For the past two years, everyone has been confined at home. A lot of the things that they couldn’t express that were really repressed inside started to explode.”

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Takashi Murakami’s new work, ‘Unknown People’, is on display at the Broad Museum.
Joshua White / Courtesy of The Broad

“And that’s when I started seeing different sides of people that I didn’t know about. It closely resembles Kafka’s Transformation“, continued the artist from Japan, who is known for his high-low artistic approach, collaborating with brands like Louis Vuitton, and themes of grief and tragedy often adorned with flowers. and poppy mushrooms (a reference to Japan’s atomic bombings during World War II).

The Broad exhibit – the artist’s first solo performance there – features 12 works in the museum’s collection, including an 82-foot-wide piece by Murakami In the Land of the Dead, Step on the Tail of the Rainbow (created in response to Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011), as well as sculptures and wallpaper. The exhibition also incorporates augmented reality elements throughout the space with QR codes that allow visitors to bring elements of Murakami, such as his flowers of happiness, to life via mobile phones. motion. (The AR features were created with Instagram, design studio Buck, Spark AR by Meta and Broad.) The show runs through September 25.

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Murakami’s epic, ‘In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tails of the Rainbow.’
Joshua White / Courtesy of The Broad

Murakami – who also has a show in New York City at the Gagosian Gallery through June 25 – added to CHEAP on his decision to add AR elements to the Broad exhibit, why he doesn’t want to go back to his hectic pre-pandemic travel schedule and how his work is being affected when his son plays the game. playing video games for 20 hours straight.

Why did you decide to add AR elements to this exhibition?

In the past, for museum exhibitions, I would do wallpapers or projections on the walls or add some elements beyond the actual presentation of the works and then for this show, at first , I was thinking of projecting things on the outside wall, but the museum was really concerned about the driver distracting and causing a traffic accident.

Afterward [idea of] AR technology came along, and I took note of it. I know [creative director] Kristen [Joy Watts] from Instagram way back, so I reached out to her to see if we could do something about it and this came together.

Have you returned to your normal travel schedule?

Yes, but I don’t want to go back to that schedule. Two years of pandemic have been stressful – in terms of how to keep your distance. But the other thing is that I am an avid learner, and sitting in my studio and using pencils or the like is very comfortable. I really want to go back to my studio.

You were very involved in the creation of the NFT. Do you believe they have a long-term future?

I am more involved in the business structure [of NFTs], not just art. This concept is very important – authority is decentralized and gives independent freedom to the creator. That’s what I’m trying to pursue. That’s what I think will have longevity.

What has influenced you recently from the entertainment world?

A lot, but these two years, influence from the game industry. I don’t play, but my son and daughter are playing games, mostly Fortnite and Mule. This is super mysterious to me. For example, my boy played Fortnite for more than 20 hours a day – he looked crazy, and his eyes looked like trash. And after that [he said] ‘I do not want to go to school. I want to play all day. ‘ In the end, my wife stopped the game. It looks like a super strong addiction. I want to approach this mentality.

You can talk about some influences in the old works on display, such as your monumental painting, In the Land of the Dead, Step on the Tail of the RainbowDo you look at the legend of the immortal gods of Taoism in Chinese mythology?

The [Daoist immortals and] The great earthquake in Japan and the 2011 tsunami are things that I really wanted to explore, including how religion originates. That’s what I’m learning and interpreting. And I’ve always felt that cultures arise in one place but then when they’re transferred to and transferred to other regions and cultures, they’re always misunderstood, and there are misunderstandings, and we constantly changing. So this work is a microcosm of that process because of the original motif [of the Daoist immortals] and the original paintings came from China, and Soga Shōhaku was a Japanese artist who imported it and made it his own work, but at the time it was arranged according to his own interpretation. And then I took that again and reinterpreted it and changed it from the original. So what I did was a total mess compared to the original, but I think this is really the essence of culture and cultural transmission.

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Broad founding director, Joanne Heyler, Takashi Murakami, Edythe Broad, and Broad curator Ed Schad
Jojo Korsh / BFA.com, courtesy of The Broad

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