If there is anywhere to practice safe social distancing, it's a museum. Although everyone might want to see the same works of art, it's pretty much an unspoken rule to wait your turn before approaching a piece that someone else is admiring. Therefore, six feet, please.
In May and June of 2022, The Broad is bringing dynamic programs to their museum featuring work from Japan's noteworthy artist, Takashi Murakami. Murakami's impact on Japan is parallel to the influence that Andy Warhol had on the United States. And, this spring/summer, the opportunity to breathe the same air that his work resides in will be just a click and swipe away.
Stepping On The Tail Of A Rainbow
Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow will be Murakami's first solo exhibition at The Broad. Guests will come face to face with 18 works of art created by the artist himself throughout his career. In addition to that will be new immersive environments that run parallel to Murakami and his studio, Kaikai Kiki Co.,Ltd.
In this exhibition, no single piece of work is the same. Murakami works in multiple mediums including sculpture, paint, wallpaper, and immersive installations, all of which will be at The Broad. His art will face guests with topics such as globalization, postwar Japan, pop culture, and religious iconography. In fact, one of his most monumental paintings will be featured at the exhibition- the 82-foot-wide, 2014, piece of work, In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow.
The acrylic painting is absolutely massive to keep things short. As for its story, The Broad's website reads, "[the artwork] is informed by 18th-century painters Soga Shohaku and Ito Jakuchu. Shohaku believed in reaching for new and alternative truths in picture making by imitating existing forms or styles and imbuing them with new essence. Murakami follows this belief, here using figures and motifs directly taken from Shohaku’s painting Gunsenzu, or Immortals (1764), itself an imitation of an older version, which depicts Taoist hermits with magical powers. On the far left, a hermit in blue riding a dragon; the hermit on the far right who holds a baby; and the potbellied hermit leaning on a frog are but a few motifs Murakami appropriates from Immortals. However, the painting is unmistakably Murakami’s, reminiscent of contemporary Japanese cartooning and culture though rooted century’s old traditions."
The Person Behind Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami has made his presence well known with his loud display of pop art strategies in a way that American critics and artists have not quite experienced before. He is said to be one of the most important Japanese artists working today as his work is recognized for its ambition, polish and fine execution. Murakami works to unify strands of culture that are often considered to be in opposition. He will blend subject matters such as traditional Japanese painting with Western influences, the realm of fine art with otaku lifestyle (juvenile culture obsessed with toys, anime, and video games), and commercial retail spaces with museums and other public venues.
Murakami exercises his craft through multiple outlets, diving into fashion, film, and other commercial areas.
The versatile artist was born in 1962 in Tokyo, Japan. He studied Japanese painting at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, according to Britannica. In 1986, Murakami received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and, in 1993 he got his Ph.D. which was only the beginning of his success. His next endeavor was displaying his work in solo and group expeditions. Murakami made his European debut in 1995 and, in the following year, his paintings and sculptures were featured at the second Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia.
In the early 2000s, Murakami collaborated with major names in fashion including Cartier and Marc Jacobs. And, it was in May 2003 that he earned celebrity status when his sculpture Miss Ko2 was auctioned in New York City for $567,500. This was a record-setting price at the time for work done by a contemporary Japanese artist. By 2005, the now celebrity artist had been characterized as the Japanese Andy Warhol.
The Happenings At The Broad
Along with Murakami's solo exhibition at The Broad are plenty of other happenings for guests to consume with their eyes and ears.
Ahead of the exhibition opening, The Broad is presenting The Un-Private Collection: Takashi Murakami + Benoit Pagotto + Ed Schad. This event will be a conversation held between Takashi Murakami and the co-founder of RTFKT Studios, Beniot Pagotta, and will be moderated by The Broad's Curator and Publications Manager, Ed Schad. Their talk will explore Murakami's interest in the possibilities of the metaverse and the potential for transcendent, spiritual, or healing experiences through it.
Chasing the Eccentrics: Takashi Murakami in Conversation with Etsuko Price about Edo-period painting, creativity, and collecting will be a conversation that reveals the ways in which traditional Japanese painting influenced and inspired Murakami's creative practice. He will also be candid about his friendship with Etsuko Price and her husband Joe Price and, their shared passion for Japanese art.
Another exhibition coming to The Broad is This Is Not America's Flag. On the opening weekend of the exhibition will be a conversation moderated by The Broad's Curator and Exhibitions Manager, Sarah Loyer. Exhibiting artists, Wendy Red Star, Stephanie Syjuco, and Tony des los Reyes will discuss their use of the United States flag in their artworks and the flag as a symbol of individual and national identity.
General admission is always free. Tickets are released on the last Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m. PT. The next ticket release is on Wednesday, May 25, for June 1–30, at ticketing.thebroad.org.
The museum is open Wednesday–Friday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
*museum hours subject to change; on and after May 21. The closing time will change to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.*