The catalogue for Takashi Murakami’s exhibition Under the Radiation Falls (open till February 4, 2018) features photographs of all works in the exhibition, as well as texts by curator Katya Inozemtseva and Japanese culture scholars Aynura Yusupova and Ryūsuke Hikawa.
The catalogue has four parts, which correspond to the sections in the exhibition: Art, The Little Boy and the Fat Man, Kawaii, and Sutajio, or Studio. Each section explores a particular phenomenon in Japanese culture that has been revisited by Murakami in his works or series. The volume includes new essays by expert in Japanese culture Aynura Yusupova, who looks into traditional motifs in Murakami’s work, and anime scholar Ryūsuke Hikawa, who introduces the reader to Japanese post-war anime and tokusatsu culture. Curator of the show Ekaterina Inozemtseva has conducted an interview with the artist where Murakami has revealed the story of his artistic path and his life.
The catalogue features 256 photographs of all works in the exhibition, including those by Murakami and paintings by old Japanese masters from the collection of The Pushkin Museum, manga and anime sketches from private collections, and photographs provided by Getty Images and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. One of the most recognizable images of Murakami Time Bokan is the cover image of the catalogue. This contour of the skull, resembling a «mushroom» of nuclear blast, glows in the dark.
The Sutajio. or Studio section features interviews with Murakami’s assistants who work in his Kaikai Kiki studio and other collaborators involved in the making of his art: from paintings and sculptures to souvenirs and fancy-dress costumes. These offer insight into the artist’s unique method and the way he organizes his work.
«This is no medieval or Renaissance studio, like Titian’s,» argues curator Ekaterina Inozemtseva. «Neither is it an Andy Warhol-style factory, or company of a star-artist like Jeff Koons or Anish Kapoor. These interviews have allowed us to create a three-dimensional image of Takashi Murakami—an artist, a businessman, a gallery owner and manager, a thinker, a geek, an otaku, and a filmmaker.»
The catalogue was produced in close collaboration with the artist and his studio Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.
Takashi Murakami's exhibition Under the Radiation Falls takes place as part of The Year of Japan in Russia.