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PLATEAU Samsung Museum of Art presents Takashi in Superflat Wonderland

PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art presents Takashi in Superflat Wonderland an exhibition on view July 7–December 8, 2013. With his “Superflat” theory based on the traditional and contemporary visual culture of Japan, Takashi Murakami has won consideration as one of the most innovative artists of our time by reinterpreting the Western tradition of contemporary art with a distinctly Asian sensibility. This exhibition hopes to present the wonderland of Murakami’s unique characters while reconsidering the critical function of his art in the historical and social context of contemporary society.

Born in 1962, Takashi Murakami attained his PhD. in Nihonga at the prestigious Tokyo University of the Arts. Strategically challenging the legacy of the western avant-garde, the artist developed his Superflat theory by identifying the flatness and hyper-stylization evident in the manga and anime of the otaku subculture as directly descending from the 17th- and 18th-century ukiyo-e prints of the Edo period. Emphasizing this defining trait in Japanese art history, the artist boldly attempted to merge the classical and contemporary visual cultures.

After garnering international acclaim through his Superflat trilogy of exhibitions, Murakami further expanded the concept of the Superflat from stylistic definition to social critique of contemporary culture. Murakami first applied the term in his examination of the postwar Japanese society where boundaries of reality and fantasy have become Superflat due to the trauma of defeat in war. Later, he also defined the term in relation to the consumption-driven global economy and internet culture, in which databases are endlessly consumed and decontextualized. Best exemplified by his collaboration with Louis Vuitton, the artist also elaborated the concept to demonstrate the flattened boundaries of art and commerce, as well as high and low culture in modern capitalist culture. With his company Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., the artist continues to actively pursue business ventures such as film, design products and artist promotion.

As one of the most successful examples of Asian artists today, Takashi Murakami and his wonderland of characters will provide an opportunity to reexamine our contemporary culture and artistic practices in a new light.

Curated by Soyeon Ahn, Chief Curator, PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art, Korea

PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art was first inaugurated in 1999 as Rodin Gallery, presenting its permanent installation of Auguste Rodin’s monumental masterpieces The Gates of Hell and The Burghers of Calais, and has established itself as one of the central institutions in the Korean contemporary art scene.

In May 2011, Rodin Gallery reopened its doors under the new name, PLATEAU, aspiring a broader scope of program, as well as higher artistic grounds for artists and patrons alike. With the new name, PLATEAU expresses our renewed commitment to embracing the dynamic developments in Korean and international contemporary art, in continuation with our permanent display of the Rodin masterpieces.

PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art
Samsung Life Insurance Building
Taepyeongno2-Ga, Jung-Gu,
Seoul, Korea 100-716
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm
T +82 2 2259 7726