• Ideas
  • Aug 20, 2019

Roundtable Review: “Murakami VS Murakami”

Installation view of TAKASHI MURAKAMI

Co-curated by Tobias Berger, heard of art and curator at Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun Contemporary, and Gunnar B. Kvaran, ex-director of Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley Museet, superstar artist Takashi Murakami’s survey exhibition “MURAKAMI vs MURAKAMI” was displayed across all three floors of Tai Kwun. With the goal to showcase “the divergent extremes of the artist’s oeuvre,” the exhibition began on the top level with a monumental sculpture, canvases, and custom carpet related to the theme of “chaos.” From there, visitors delved deeper into the artist’s “sci-fi otaku brain” by way of his art collection, which spans works by spraypainter MADSAKI, portraitist Tomoo Gokita, Pop Art legend Andy Warhol, and illustrator Horst Janssen. On the second floor was a selection of Murakami’s elaborate costumes, housed in glass vitrines. One level down, galleries contained Murakami’s more “optimistic flower works,” animations, artwork sketches, paintings inspired by Francis Bacon, and, lastly, all-gold Enso paintings, in front of which viewers were meant to “reflect on nothingness and finitude.” Here is what members of the ArtAsiaPacific team thought of the exhibition.