Yoshitomo Nara is a Japanese artist. He works in Tokyo, though his artwork has been exhibited worldwide. Nara has had nearly 40 solo exhibitions since 1984, his art work has been housed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. His most well-known and repeated subject is a young girl with piercing eyes. Nara received his B. F. A. and an M. F. A. from the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. Between 1988 and 1993, Nara studied in Germany. "Nara first came to the fore of the art world during Japan's Pop art movement in the 1990s. The subject matter of his sculptures and paintings is deceptively simple: most works depict one innocuous subject with little or no background, but these children, who appear at first to be cute and vulnerable, sometimes brandish weapons like knives and saws. Their wide eyes hold accusatory looks that could be sleepy-eyed irritation at being awoken from a nap—or that could be undiluted expressions of hate."Nara, does not see his weapon-wielding subjects as aggressors.
"Look at them, they are so small, like toys. Do you think they could fight with those?" he says. "I don't think so. Rather, I kind of see the children among other, bad people all around them, who are holding bigger knives..." Lauded by art critics, Nara's bizarrely intriguing works have gained him a cult following around the world. Large original paintings sell for millions of dollars. In June, 2005, Nara's artwork was featured in the album titled "Suspended Animation" by experimental band Fantômas. Other commercial products have been dedicated to Nara's work. A two-volume catalogue raisonné of all his sculptures and drawings was completed. In 2010, the Asia Society showed Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool the first major New York exhibition of his work. Other major retrospectives include: "I Don't Mind If You Forget Me", which toured Japan between 2001 and 2002. One of his exhibited works is now part of a window of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, England. Though Nara claims to have never said that he was influenced by manga, the imagery of manga and anime of his 1960s childhood is cited when discussing Nara's stylized, large-eyed figures.
Nara subverts these images, however, by infusing his works with horror-like imagery. This juxtaposition of human evil with the innocent child may be a reaction to Japan's rigid social conventions; the punk rock music of Nara's youth has influenced the artist's work. Recalling a similar violent youth, Nara's art embraces the punk ethos. Nara’s upbringing in post-World War II Japan profoundly affected his mindset and, his artwork as well, he grew up in a time. Additionally, Nara was raised in the isolated countryside as a latchkey child of working-class parents, so he was left alone with little to do but explore his young imagination; the fiercely independent subjects that populate so much of his artwork may be a reaction to Nara's own independent childhood. Nara exhibited work in New York at the Pace Gallery in May–April 2017, it was his first exhibition in New York since 2013. Entitled Thinker, the pieces exhibited represent a shift towards a more meditative body of work. Of this shift, Nara said, "In the past I would have an image that I wanted to create, I would just do it.
I would just get. Now I take my time and work and build up all these layers to find the best way. Just like you cook so that you know it’s going to be the most delicious, you find a way to make your art the best it can be."In July 2017, The Toyota Municipal Museum of Art held a career retrospective of the artist's work, called for better or worse. Nara has been represented internationally by Blum & Poe since 1995, Pace Gallery since 2011, he was represented by the Marianne Boesky gallery in New York, the Tomio Koyama gallery in Tokyo. 2018 - "Yoshitomo Nara: Ceramic Works and..." - Pace, Hong Kong 2018 - "Drawings: 1988-2018 Last 30 Years" - Kaikai Kiki, Tokyo 2017 - "for better or worse" - Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi 2016 - "Yoshitomo Nara: New Works" - Stephen Friedman Gallery, London 2015 - "Shallow Puddles" - Blum and Poe, Tokyo 2014 - "Yoshitomo Nara" - Blum and Poe, Los Angeles 2009 - "15TH ANNIVERSARY INAUGURAL EXHIBITION" - Blum and Poe, Los Angeles 2008 - "Yoshitomo Nara and installation by YNG" - Blum and Poe, Los Angeles 2004 - "Yoshitomo Nara - New Works" - Blum and Poe, Los Angeles 2003 - "Inaugural Group Show" - Blum and Poe, Los Angeles 2001 - "YOSHITOMO NARA In the White Room: An Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings" - Blum and Poe, Santa Monica 1999 - "YOSHITOMO NARA An Exhibition of Sculpture in Two Parts" - Blum and Poe, Santa Monica 1997 - "Yoshitomo Nara" - Blum and Poe, Santa Monica 1995 - "YOSHITOMO NARA: PACIFIC BABIES - Los Angeles International'95 In Cooperation with SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo" - Blum and Poe, Santa Monica Koplos, Janet.
"Making Space for Misfits: Yoshitomo Nara." Sculpture. Volume 30, Number 3. April 2011. P. 42-7. ISSN 0889-728X A to Z. Tokyo: Foil, 2007. ISBN 978-4902943160. Yoshitomo Nara for better or for worse Works 1987-2017 - Career retrospective at The Toyota Municipal Museum of Art Yoshitomo Nara at Stephen Friedman Gallery Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool at Asia So
Anglo-Saxon art covers art produced within the Anglo-Saxon period of English history, beginning with the Migration period style that the Anglo-Saxons brought with them from the continent in the 5th century, ending in 1066 with the Norman Conquest of a large Anglo-Saxon nation-state whose sophisticated art was influential in much of northern Europe. The two periods of outstanding achievement were the 7th and 8th centuries, with the metalwork and jewellery from Sutton Hoo and a series of magnificent illuminated manuscripts, the final period after about 950, when there was a revival of English culture after the end of the Viking invasions. By the time of the Conquest the move to the Romanesque style is nearly complete; the important artistic centres, in so far as these can be established, were concentrated in the extremities of England, in Northumbria in the early period, Wessex and Kent near the south coast. Anglo-Saxon art survives in illuminated manuscripts, Anglo-Saxon architecture, a number of fine ivory carvings, some works in metal and other materials.
Opus Anglicanum was recognised as the finest embroidery in Europe, although only a few pieces from the Anglo-Saxon period remain – the Bayeux Tapestry is a rather different sort of embroidery, on a far larger scale. As in most of Europe at the time, metalwork was the most regarded form of art by the Anglo-Saxons, but hardly any survives – there was enormous plundering of Anglo-Saxon churches and the possessions of the dispossessed nobility by the new Norman rulers in their first decades, as well as the Norsemen before them, the English Reformation after them, most survivals were once on the continent. Anglo-Saxon taste favoured brightness and colour, an effort of the imagination is needed to see the excavated and worn remains that survive as they once were; the best known piece of Anglo-Saxon art is the Bayeux Tapestry, commissioned by a Norman patron from English artists working in the traditional Anglo-Saxon style. Anglo-Saxon artists worked in fresco, stone and whalebone, metalwork and enamel, many examples of which have been recovered through archaeological excavation and some of which have been preserved over the centuries in churches on the Continent, as the Vikings and Reformation iconoclasm between them left nothing in England except for books and archaeological finds.
Metalwork is the only form in which the earliest Anglo-Saxon art has survived in Germanic-style jewelry which was, before the Christianization of Anglo-Saxon England placed in burials. After the conversion, which took most of the 7th century, the fusion of Germanic Anglo-Saxon and Late Antique techniques and motifs, together with the requirement for books, created Hiberno-Saxon style, or Insular art, seen in illuminated manuscripts and some carved stone and ivory mostly drawing from decorative metalwork motifs, with further influences from the British Celts of the west and the Franks; the Kingdom of Northumbria in the far north of England was the crucible of Insular style in Britain, at centres such as Lindisfarne, founded c. 635 as an offshoot of the Irish monastery on Iona, Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey which looked to the continent. At about the same time as the Insular Lindisfarne Gospels was being made in the early 8th century, the Vespasian Psalter from Canterbury in the far south, which the missionaries from Rome had made their headquarters, shows a wholly different, classically based art.
These two styles mixed and developed together and by the following century the resulting Anglo-Saxon style had reached maturity. However Anglo-Saxon society was massively disrupted in the 9th century the half, by the Viking invasions, the number of significant objects surviving falls and their dating becomes vaguer than of those from a century before. Most monasteries in the north were closed for decades, if not forever, after the Canterbury Bible of before 850 well before, "no major illuminated manuscript is known until well on into the tenth century". King Alfred held the Vikings back to a line running diagonally across the middle of England, above which they settled in the Danelaw, were integrated into what was now a unified Anglo-Saxon kingdom; the final phase of Anglo-Saxon art is known as the Winchester School or style, though it was produced in many centres in the south of England, the Midlands also. Elements of this begin to be seen from around 900, but the first major manuscripts only appear around the 930s.
The style combined influences from the continental art of the Holy Roman Empire with elements of older English art, some particular elements including a nervous agitated style of drapery, sometimes matched by figures in line drawings, which are the only images in many manuscripts, were to remain prominent in medieval English art. Early Anglo-Saxon manuscript illumination forms part of Insular art, a combination of influences from Mediterranean and Germanic styles that arose when the Anglo-Saxons encountered Irish missionary activity in Northumbria, at Lindisfarne and Iona in particular. At the same time the Gregorian mission from Rome and its successors imported continental manuscripts like the Italian St. Augustine Gospels, for a considerable period the two styles appear mixed in a variety of proportions in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. In the Lindisfarne Gospels, of around 700–715, there are carpet pages and Insular initials of unprecedented complexity and sophistication, but the evang
Gothic art was a style of medieval art that developed in Northern France out of Romanesque art in the 12th century AD, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, much of Southern and Central Europe, never quite effacing more classical styles in Italy. In the late 14th century, the sophisticated court style of International Gothic developed, which continued to evolve until the late 15th century. In many areas Germany, Late Gothic art continued well into the 16th century, before being subsumed into Renaissance art. Primary media in the Gothic period included sculpture, panel painting, stained glass and illuminated manuscripts; the recognizable shifts in architecture from Romanesque to Gothic, Gothic to Renaissance styles, are used to define the periods in art in all media, although in many ways figurative art developed at a different pace. The earliest Gothic art was monumental sculpture, on the walls of abbeys. Christian art was typological in nature, showing the stories of the New Testament and the Old Testament side by side.
Saints' lives were depicted. Images of the Virgin Mary changed from the Byzantine iconic form to a more human and affectionate mother, cuddling her infant, swaying from her hip, showing the refined manners of a well-born aristocratic courtly lady. Secular art came into its own during this period with the rise of cities, foundation of universities, increase in trade, the establishment of a money-based economy and the creation of a bourgeois class who could afford to patronize the arts and commission works resulting in a proliferation of paintings and illuminated manuscripts. Increased literacy and a growing body of secular vernacular literature encouraged the representation of secular themes in art. With the growth of cities, trade guilds were formed and artists were required to be members of a painters' guild—as a result, because of better record keeping, more artists are known to us by name in this period than any previous. Gothic art emerged in Île-de-France, France, in the early 12th century at the Abbey Church of St Denis built by Abbot Suger.
The style spread beyond its origins in architecture to sculpture, both monumental and personal in size, textile art, painting, which took a variety of forms, including fresco, stained glass, the illuminated manuscript, panel painting. Monastic orders the Cistercians and the Carthusians, were important builders who disseminated the style and developed distinctive variants of it across Europe. Regional variations of architecture remained important when, by the late 14th century, a coherent universal style known as International Gothic had evolved, which continued until the late 15th century, beyond in many areas. Although there was far more secular Gothic art than is thought today, as the survival rate of religious art has been better than for secular equivalents, a large proportion of the art produced in the period was religious, whether commissioned by the church or by the laity. Gothic art was typological in nature, reflecting a belief that the events of the Old Testament pre-figured those of the New, that this was indeed their main significance.
Old and New Testament scenes were shown side by side in works like the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, the decoration of churches. The Gothic period coincided with a great resurgence in Marian devotion, in which the visual arts played a major part. Images of the Virgin Mary developed from the Byzantine hieratic types, through the Coronation of the Virgin, to more human and intimate types, cycles of the Life of the Virgin were popular. Artists like Giotto, Fra Angelico and Pietro Lorenzetti in Italy, Early Netherlandish painting, brought realism and a more natural humanity to art. Western artists, their patrons, became much more confident in innovative iconography, much more originality is seen, although copied formulae were still used by most artists. Iconography was affected by changes in theology, with depictions of the Assumption of Mary gaining ground on the older Death of the Virgin, in devotional practices such as the Devotio Moderna, which produced new treatments of Christ in subjects such as the Man of Sorrows, Pensive Christ and Pietà, which emphasized his human suffering and vulnerability, in a parallel movement to that in depictions of the Virgin.
In Last Judgements Christ was now shown exposing his chest to show the wounds of his Passion. Saints were shown more and altarpieces showed saints relevant to the particular church or donor in attendance on a Crucifixion or enthroned Virgin and Child, or occupying the central space themselves. Over the period many ancient iconographical features that originated in New Testament apocrypha were eliminated under clerical pressure, like the midwives at the Nativity, though others were too well-established, considered harmless; the word "Gothic" for art was used as a synonym for "Barbaric", was therefore used pejoratively. Its critics saw this type of Medieval art as unrefined and too remote from the aesthetic proportions and shapes of Classical art. Renaissance authors believed that the Sack of Rome by the Gothic tribes in 410 had triggered the demise of the Classical world and all the values they held dear. In the 15th century, various Italian architects and writers complained that the new'barbarian' styles filtering down from north of the Alps posed a similar threat to the classical revival promoted by the early Renaissance.
The "Gothic" qualifier for this art was first used in Raphael's letter to Pope Leo X c. 1518
Ottonian art is a style in pre-romanesque German art, covering some works from the Low Countries, northern Italy and eastern France. It was named by the art historian Hubert Janitschek after the Ottonian dynasty which ruled Germany and northern Italy between 919 and 1024 under the kings Henry I, Otto I, Otto II, Otto III and Henry II. With Ottonian architecture, it is a key component of the Ottonian Renaissance. However, the style neither ended to neatly coincide with the rule of the dynasty, it emerged some decades into their rule and persisted past the Ottonian emperors into the reigns of the early Salian dynasty, which lacks an artistic "style label" of its own. In the traditional scheme of art history, Ottonian art follows Carolingian art and precedes Romanesque art, though the transitions at both ends of the period are gradual rather than sudden. Like the former and unlike the latter, it was largely a style restricted to a few of the small cities of the period, important monasteries, as well as the court circles of the emperor and his leading vassals.
After the decline of the Carolingian Empire, the Holy Roman Empire was re-established under the Saxon Ottonian dynasty. From this emerged a renewed faith in the idea of Empire and a reformed Church, creating a period of heightened cultural and artistic fervour, it was in this atmosphere that masterpieces were created that fused the traditions from which Ottonian artists derived their inspiration: models of Late Antique and Byzantine origin. Surviving Ottonian art is largely religious, in the form of illuminated manuscripts and metalwork, was produced in a small number of centres for a narrow range of patrons in the circle of the Imperial court, as well as important figures in the church; however much of it was designed for display to a wider public of pilgrims. The style is grand and heavy, sometimes to excess, less sophisticated than the Carolingian equivalents, with less direct influence from Byzantine art and less understanding of its classical models, but around 1000 a striking intensity and expressiveness emerge in many works, as "a solemn monumentality is combined with a vibrant inwardness, an unworldly, visionary quality with sharp attention to actuality, surface patterns of flowing lines and rich bright colours with passionate emotionalism".
Following late Carolingian styles, "presentation portraits" of the patrons of manuscripts are prominent in Ottonian art, much Ottonian art reflected the dynasty's desire to establish visually a link to the Christian rulers of Late Antiquity, such as Constantine and Justinian as well as to their Carolingian predecessors Charlemagne. This goal was accomplished in various ways. For example, the many Ottonian ruler portraits include elements, such as province personifications, or representatives of the military and the Church flanking the emperor, with a lengthy imperial iconographical history; as well as the reuse of motifs from older imperial art, the removal of spolia from Late Antique structures in Rome and Ravenna and their incorporation into Ottonian buildings was a device intended to suggest imperial continuity. This was the intention of Otto I when he removed columns, some of porphyry, other building materials from the Palace of Theoderic in Ravenna and reused them in his new cathedral at Magdeburg.
The one thing the ruler portraits attempt is a close likeness of the individual features of a ruler. In a continuation and intensification of late Carolingian trends, many miniatures contain presentation miniatures depicting the donors of the manuscripts to a church, including bishops and abbesses, the emperor. In some cases successive miniatures show a kind of relay: in the Hornbach Sacramentary the scribe presents the book to his abbot, who presents it to St Pirmin, founder of Hornbach Abbey, who presents it to St Peter, who presents it to Christ, altogether taking up eight pages to stress the unity and importance of the "command structure" binding church and state, on earth and in heaven. Byzantine art remained an influence with the marriage of the Greek princess Theophanu to Otto II, imported Byzantine elements enamels and ivories, are incorporated into Ottonian metalwork such as book covers. However, if there were actual Greek artists working in Germany in the period, they have left less trace than their predessors in Carolingian times.
The manuscripts were both scribed and illuminated by monks with specialized skills, some of whose names are preserved, but there is no evidence as to the artists who worked in metal and ivory, who are assumed to have been laymen, though there were some monastic goldsmiths in the Early Medieval period, some lay brothers and lay assistants employed by monasteries. While secular jewellery supplied a steady stream of work for goldsmiths, ivory carving at this period was for the church, may have been centred in monasteries, although wall-paintings seems to have been done by laymen. Ottonian monasteries produced most if not all of the most magnificent medieval illuminated manuscripts, they were a major art form of the time, monasteries received direct sponsorship from emperors and bishops, having the best in equipment and talent available. The range of illuminated texts was largely restricted to the main liturgical books, with few secular works being so treated. In contrast to manuscripts of other periods, it is often possible to say with
Early Christian art and architecture
Early Christian art and architecture or Paleochristian art is the art produced by Christians or under Christian patronage from the earliest period of Christianity to, depending on the definition used, sometime between 260 and 525. In practice, identifiably Christian art only survives from the 2nd century onwards. After 550 at the latest, Christian art is classified of some other regional type, it is hard to know. Prior to 100, Christians may have been constrained by their position as a persecuted group from producing durable works of art. Since Christianity was a religion of the lower classes in this period, the lack of surviving art may reflect a lack of funds for patronage, small numbers of followers; the Old Testament restrictions against the production of graven images may have constrained Christians from producing art. Christians may have made or purchased art with pagan iconography, but given it Christian meanings, as they did. If this happened, "Christian" art would not be recognizable as such.
Early Christianity used the same artistic media as the surrounding pagan culture. These media included fresco, mosaics and manuscript illumination. Early Christian art not only used Roman forms, it used Roman styles. Late classical style included a proportional portrayal of the human body and impressionistic presentation of space. Late classical style is seen in early Christian frescos, such as those in the Catacombs of Rome, which include most examples of the earliest Christian art. Early Christian art and architecture adapted Roman artistic motifs and gave new meanings to what had been pagan symbols. Among the motifs adopted were the peacock and the "Good Shepherd". Early Christians developed their own iconography, for example, such symbols as the fish, were not borrowed from pagan iconography. Early Christian art is divided into two periods by scholars: before and after either the Edict of Milan of 313, bringing the so-called Triumph of the Church under Constantine, or the First Council of Nicea in 325.
The earlier period being called the Pre-Constantinian or Ante-Nicene Period and after being the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils. The end of the period of early Christian art, defined by art historians as being in the 5th–7th centuries, is thus a good deal than the end of the period of early Christianity as defined by theologians and church historians, more considered to end under Constantine, around 313–325. During the persecution of Christians under the Roman Empire, Christian art was and deliberately furtive and ambiguous, using imagery, shared with pagan culture but had a special meaning for Christians; the earliest surviving Christian art comes from the late 2nd to early 4th centuries on the walls of Christian tombs in the catacombs of Rome. From literary evidence, there may well have been panel icons which, like all classical painting, have disappeared. Jesus was represented indirectly by pictogram symbols such as the Ichthys, Lamb of God, or an anchor. Personified symbols were used, including Jonah, whose three days in the belly of the whale pre-figured the interval between the death and resurrection of Jesus, Daniel in the lion's den, or Orpheus' charming the animals.
The image of "The Good Shepherd", a beardless youth in pastoral scenes collecting sheep, was the most common of these images, was not understood as a portrait of the historical Jesus. These images bear some resemblance to depictions of kouros figures in Greco-Roman art; the "almost total absence from Christian monuments of the period of persecutions of the plain, unadorned cross" except in the disguised form of the anchor, is notable. The Cross, symbolizing Jesus' crucifixion on a cross, was not represented explicitly for several centuries because crucifixion was a punishment meted out to common criminals, but because literary sources noted that it was a symbol recognised as Christian, as the sign of the cross was made by Christians from early on; the popular conception that the Christian catacombs were "secret" or had to hide their affiliation is wrong. The inexplicit symbolic nature of many early Christian visual motifs may have had a function of discretion in other contexts, but on tombs they reflect a lack of any other repertoire of Christian iconography.
The dove is a symbol of purity. It can be found with a celestial light. In one of the earliest known Trinitarian images, "the Throne of God as a Trinitarian image", the dove represents the Spirit, it is flying above an empty throne representing God, in the throne are a chlamys and diadem representing the Son. The Chi-Rho monogram, XP first used by Constantine I, consists of the first two characters of the name'Christos' in Greek. A general assumption that early Christianity was aniconic, opposed to religious imagery in both theory and practice until about 200, has been challenged by Paul Corby Finney's analysis of early Christian writing and material remains; this distinguishes three different sources of attitudes affecting early Christians on the issue: "first that humans could have a direct vision of God.
Takashi Murakami is a Japanese contemporary artist. He works in fine arts media as well as commercial media and is known for blurring the line between high and low arts, he coined the term "superflat", which describes both the aesthetic characteristics of the Japanese artistic tradition and the nature of post-war Japanese culture and society, is used for Murakami's artistic style and other Japanese artists he has influenced. Murakami is the founder and President of Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd. through which he manages several younger artists. He was the organizer of the biannual art fair Geisai. Murakami was raised in Tokyo, Japan. From early on, he was a fan of anime and manga, hoped to work in the animation industry, he attended Tokyo University of the Arts to acquire the drafting skills necessary to become an animator, but majored in Nihonga, the'traditional' style of Japanese painting that incorporates traditional Japanese artistic conventions and subjects. Though he would go on to earn a Ph. D. in Nihonga, he became disillusioned with its insular political world and started to explore more contemporary artistic styles and strategies.
Murakami was dissatisfied with the state of contemporary art in Japan, believing it to be "a deep appropriation of Western trends." Thus, much of his early work was done in the spirit of social criticism and satire. Efforts from this period include performance art, parodies of the "message" art popular in Japan in the early'90s, conceptual works, he began developing his own pop icon, "Mr. DOB," which would develop into a form of self-portraiture, the first of several endlessly morphing and recurring motifs seen throughout his work. Though he garnered attention, many of his early pieces were not well received in Japan. In 1994, Murakami received a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council and participated in the PS1 International Studio Program in New York City for a year. During his stay, he was exposed to and inspired by Western contemporary artists such as Anselm Kiefer and the simulationism of artists such as Jeff Koons, he established a small studio, together with the Hiropon Factory in Japan, became the precursor to his company Kaikai Kiki.
After returning to Japan, he would develop the core concepts behind his artistic practice and begin exhibiting at major galleries and institutions across Europe and America. Murakami has expressed since early on a frustration with the lack of a reliable and sustainable art market in post-war Japan. For this reason, he formulated a strategy wherein he would first establish himself in the Western art world and import himself back to Japan, building a new type of art market in the process. In order to create something rooted in his own Japanese culture and history but still fresh and valid internationally, he began searching for something that could be considered'uniquely Japanese.' After concluding that elements of'high' art were confounding at best, he began to focus on Japan's'low' culture anime and manga, the larger subculture of otaku. His artistic style and motifs derived from this strategy; this is demonstrated in his whimsical Cosmos Ball from 2000, in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art.
In 2000, Murakami published his "Superflat" theory in the catalogue for a group exhibition of the same name that he curated for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The theory posits that there is a legacy of flat, 2-dimensional imagery from Japanese art history in manga and anime; this style differentiates itself from the western approach in its emphasis on surface and use of flat planes of color. Superflat served as a commentary on post-war Japanese society in which, Murakami argues, differences in social class and popular taste have'flattened,' producing a culture with little distinction between'high' and'low'; the theory provided the context for his work and he elaborated on it with the exhibitions "Coloriage" and "Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture". These helped introduce Japan's lesser-known creative culture overseas and such curatorial projects would become an integral part of Murakami's multifaceted artistic practice. In the past decade, Murakami's curatorship expanded to include Kazunori Hamana, Yuji Ueda, Otani Workshop at Blum & Poe, New York and Juxtapox x Superflat at Vancouver Art Gallery.
In accordance with the Superflat concept, Murakami's practice involves repackaging elements considered "low" or subcultural and presenting them in the "high-art" market. He further flattens the playing field by repackaging his "high-art" works as merchandise, such as plush toys and T-shirts, making them available at more affordable prices. In 1996, Murakami launched the Hiropon Factory, his production workshop, in order to work on a larger scale and in a more diverse array of media, his model inherits the atelier system which has long existed in Japanese painting and sculpture and is common to anime and manga enterprises, such as Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli. In 2001, Hiropon Factory was incorporated as Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd. In 2002, at the invitation of designer Marc Jacobs, Murakami began his long-lasting collaboration with the fashion brand Louis Vuitton, he began by contributing artwork, use