From July 17 - August 16, 1997, on the occasion of the third LA International, Blum & Poe will present an installation of new paintings and sculpture by Tokyo and New York-based artist Takashi Murakami. This project is in cooperation with Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo.
Murakami is one of the few Japanese artists with a clear understanding of the historical premise that contemporary art in Japan arises from resistance to both Nihon-ga (specifically, the national form of painting developed during the process of modernization; an artificial invention combining the dominant form of painting in the Edo Era with various techniques and subjects from modern Western painting) and Yo-ga (which is, literally, Western style painting).
A master Nihon-ga painter, Murakami brings together such diverse elements as plastic models, animated cartoons, advertising balloons, monsters, Nihon-ga, Pop-art, conceptual art and Abstract Expressionism. His understanding that the idea of Japan as "Mother Nature" is a fraudulent national identity constructed in the process of modernization coupled with his desire to not express himself, but to deconstruct himself, thoroughly reflects the contradictions and frictions in Japan's post-modernization development.
Murakami has exhibited widely throughout Europe and America, most recently at Feature and Gavin Brown's Enterprise in New York and will be the subject of a major one-person exhibition at Le Magasin in Grenoble in 1998.