After three years in the making, Takashi Murakami‘s “MURAKAMI vs MURAKAMI” exhibition in Hong Kong is finally open for viewing. The exhibit displays over 60 sculptures, paintings and video animations, including 30 never-before-seen pieces.
The show takes over all three stories of Tai Kwun’s JC Contemporary art gallery. From the recognizable flower motif to post-apocalyptic paintings, the pieces span over Murakami’s diverse career and provide guests with a truly immersive experience into his universe. Scroll through the imagery to get an inside look inside the immense space.
Guest are encouraged to start from the third floor and work their way down through the gallery. The first room diverges from Murakami’s usual bright, optimistic work and is covered with skulls, exploring a darker side of the artist’s mind. Titled The Birth Cry of a Universe, the main hall reflects Murakami’s experience living in a postwar Japan and an age of nuclear power struggle. Before entering the space, guests will need to put on shoe coverings as the printed carpet is an art piece in itself. Not only do key features of the room include a 4.5-meter gold statue in the middle and an expansive 6 x 15-meter painting, but the walls are also painted from floor to ceiling in gloomy, dark tones.
The collection is peppered with Murakami’s writings throughout. They are mixed media art pieces in themselves that offer an extra layer of his perspective and commentary on the makings of the show.
The second room, titled Superflat Flowers, is covered in floral-print galore and is described as being designed for children. Decked out in every color of the rainbow, the walls feature characters such as Doraemon and Takashi Murakami’s self-portrait, and the space also includes interactive plushies for guests. If you take a closer look at the Pantone-esque flowers on the printed carpet, and you’ll see that not a single one is repeated.
On the second floor, there is a separate exhibit displaying all of Murakami’s costumes that he’s worn in the past. This is the first time that the artist has put together this type of collection, and it includes everything from his sea creature-themed “The Octupus Eats Its Own Leg” outfit to a Kanye-approved “I Love It” costume.
The final hall titled Enso is entirely covered in gold, bringing the art show full circle with nods to the gold statue on the top floor. The room alludes to Andy Warhol’s silver Factory and takes on a form of repetition in art. The symbol of a circle can be seen throughout this room as a representation of emptiness, unity and infinity in Buddhism. Murakami created the space as almost a sacred place for meditation and contemplation.
In addition to the exhibition, Tai Kwun is also hosting a pop-up shop just outside the space that features Hong Kong-exclusive pieces. Decorated with the flower and skull themes from the show, the pop-up will be selling everything from plushies and prints to notebooks and sneakers.
The gallery and pop-up will be open from June 1 to September 1, and you can purchase tickets online at Ticketflap or at the Tai Kwun Contemporary reception. You can also check the gallery site for guided tours, educational workshops, public talks and film screenings. For more art news, take a look inside Dior’s new exhibit in Dallas, Texas.
Tai Kwun – Centre for Heritage and Arts
10 Hollywood Rd, Central
Hong Kong, Hong Kong