Takashi Murakami – In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow

Photo by Shin Suzuki. Artwork © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.
Photo by Shin Suzuki. Artwork © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.

Murakami is at it again (yay!). The superflat artist of our time is back with a new exhibition.

The Japanese artists work usually tackles ideas of consumerism and war, man-made destruction so-to-say. However his latest work has taken a turn, this time looking at natural disasters; the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in particular.

In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow‘ is the title of the NY show, the title itself consistent with the contradiction between childhood and destruction Murakami’s work so often focusses on.

His past series ‘Little Brother’ represented how the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in WWII forced Japan into the position of the child and America the overpowering parent. As much ‘Little Brother’ did, ‘In the Land of the Dead…’ also uses destruction and innocence in such a way that once you dig beneath the aesthetically beautiful surface dark themes and ideas arise to the surface.

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One new theme creeping into this series is religion, Murakami uses his art to explore how human use faith to cope with destruction.

To me, religions are a narrative…Natural catastrophes, earthquakes, are things caused by nature. Such chaos is natural, but we have to make sense of it somehow, and so we had to invent these stories. That is what I wanted to paint.
—Takashi Murakami

And so this new exhibition further ignites my admiration for Murakami, a connection with his work and a want to have a piece of his work hanging on my walls. For now the postcards I bought at the Mori tower in Tokyo will have to suffice.

Read more about this exhibition in Artsy’s write up for The Huff post

Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co.
Photo by Shin Suzuki. Artwork © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.
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