July 11, 2024

Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto

I finally got to see Takashi Murakami’s “Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto,” running from February 3, 2024, to September 1, 2024.

Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto Entrance
Embodiment of “A” / “Um”

Murakami Takashi has proposed “Superflat,” and has impacted the contemporary art scene worldwide. This solo exhibition is the first in Japan in eight years, the first outside of Tokyo, and being held in Kyoto, a special place in Japanese culture and art. It is also said that this might be the last solo exhibition in a Japanese museum, which has drawn much attention, already surpassing 300,000 visitors.

The exhibition is composed of six chapters.

Exhibition 1: “Mononoke Rakuchu-Rakugai-zu”

Rakuchu Rakugaizu is a series of screens depicting a bird’s-eye view of Kyoto’s urban (rakuchu) and suburban (rakugai) scenery and customs, and many works were produced between the late Muromachi and Edo periods.
From the works of Iwasa Matabei, designated a National Treasure and highly regarded as a masterpiece, Murakami Takashi has created the 13 m long 《Rakuchu-Rakugai-zu Byobu: Iwasa Matabei RIP》 (2023-24).

Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Rakuchu-Rakugai-zu Byobu:Iwasa Matabei RIP
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Close-up of Rakuchu-Rakugai-zu Byobu:Iwasa Matabei RIP

Also on display in this exhibition area from July is the Takashi Murakami version of Gion-Matsuri-zu Byobu, which references the Gion-Matsuri-zu folding screen (late 17th century, Hosomi Art Museum collection), which depicts the Gion Festival, a summer festival in Kyoto.

Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
the Takashi Murakami version of Gion-Matsuri-zu Byobu

Exhibition 2: ‘The Four Deities and the Hexagonal Spiral Hall’

In this exhibition area, giant paintings of the four deities (spirit animals) that guard the four directions of east, west, north, south, and west – the Blue Dragon in the east, the White Tiger in the west, the Vermilion Bird in the south and the Genbu in the north – are seated.

Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Blue Dragon Kyoto
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
White Tiger Kyoto
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Vermillion Bird Kyoto
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Black Tortoise Kyoto

The bell tower “Rokkaku Rasendo”, which rises in the center, was inspired by Rokkakudo, the “navel of Kyoto” and the birthplace of ikebana (flower arrangement).

Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Hexagonal Double-Helix Tower

Exhibition 3: DOB Oukanki.

This chapter focuses on the character DOB, which Murakami created in the 1990s, and refers to the concept of ‘super flat’, which links the flatness of traditional Japanese painting to manga and anime to the classless social context of post-war Japan.

Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
772772

Exhibition 4: Wind God / Thunder God Wonderland

This exhibition section features Murakami’s new interpretation of masterpieces by Edo period painters such as Tawaraya Sotatsu, Ogata Korin, Soga Shohaku, and Kano Yamasetsu.

For Murakami, bridging Rimpa Style and other Japanese and contemporary art forms is an eternal theme.

Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Wind God / Thunder God
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Dragon in Clouds- Red Mutation The Version I painted myself in annoyance after Professor
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Summer Flower Field under the Golden Sky
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Amitabha Buddha Descends, Looking Over His Shoulder

Exhibition 5: ‘Mononoke Yugi Tan’

This section presents the latest trends in Takashi Murakami’s work.

Murakami has reacted quickly to cutting-edge technology, moving from the ’Superflat’ of flat space to the digital world.
For example, the two-dimensional works featuring characters from his early representative figure works, which appear to be digital output, are digital images redrawn as paintings by superb handiwork.

Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
CLONE X × TAKASHI MURAKAMI
#6597 Lonesome Cowboy
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
CLONE X × TAKASHI MURAKAMI
#19042 Hiropon
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Murakami Flowers Collectible Trading Card 2023

Exhibition 6: ‘Gozan-kun and the Historic Capital Seasonal Chronicles’

Murakami, who has lived in Kyoto since 2011, has created a work of art of the Seasonal Chronicles of the Historic Capital, including traditional events and festivals, as a way of greeting and paying respect to the people of Kyoto.

Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
2020 The Name Succession of Ichikawa Danjuro XIII, Hakuen, Kabuki Juhachiban
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Gozan Okuribi
Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Maiko in Kyoto, Anime-style

The Kyoto City KYOSERA Museum of Art, the venue for the event, has a Kyodai sculpture “Ouka no Oyako” (Flower Parent and Child) sitting in the museum’s garden.

Flower Parent and Child - Exhibition Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto
Flower Parent and Child