Monday 22 February 2016

Takashi Murakami - The 500 Arhats

Once a month my husband has to work on a Saturday so Ebi-kun and I have an arty mommy and boy date. This time we ventured down to Roppongi for possibly the weirdest exhibit I have taken him to so far!

We went to see Takashi Murakami's 500 Arhats and we both loved it!

When you first arrive you are greeted by this rather strange Murakami, he chants and his eyes roll, it is kind of mesmerising because its so weird...

The 500 Arhat is actually a 100 metre long piece of art, split into 4 panels, probably because they couldn't get it up all in one go! But there was a lot of his other work there too. Skulls featured a lot! I love this, very rock 'n' roll!

And there were various depictions of his character Mr Dob. There is some child like charm to some of his work, with a serious pinch of manga/anime and then the traditional old style Japanese painting thrown into the mix too.

I was surprised that it wasn't busier (but happy about that too) maybe the weather had something to do with that, it was grim outside. Looking up close at the artwork shows an insane amount of detail, layers upon layers of screen printing. 

It was hard to choose a favourite really, but I do have a soft spot for this, actually a section of the main piece but it reminds me of the stag in Princess Mononoke...

There were also several sculptures on display, Ebi-kun asked on of the museum staff, apparently they are molded out of some kind of plastic then covered with goal leaf. Some of them were the height of the room so getting on for 4 meters!

Murakami also designed the smiley flower, Ebi-kun made an acute observation when we were in the museum shop, they had several versions of the flower on sale - He said "Who says artists are poor, they can't be when they can charge so much for a cushion!"
The cushions were expensive, the one this size was ¥640,000 which is roughly $56,000 yep! Even the small, sofa sized cushions were about 1/10th of that.

It led to an interesting discussion about how much it costs to produce art and whether people would be buying the cushion just to sit on or would it be an investment with a hope it would be worth more money in the future.

Of course, no trip to the museum is complete without goofing off in the museum shop! Pretty cool, that dude of mine!

If you want to catch the exhibit, it runs until March 7th and it's on at The Mori Arts Centre at Roppongi Hills

If you can't make it, this video gives you a wee taste...

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