I went to the Yokohama Museum to see “Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection.” You might think it’s the art work of Takashi Murakami, one of the most successful artists in contemporary art, but it’s the display of Murakami’s private collection as an energetic art collector. It was mind-boggling and incredibly overwhelming.
The collection is assembled based on the artist’s unique eye and aesthetic. From contemporary art to antiques, from Japan and other countries, it includes more than 5,000 items. I think it’s more than a private collection in scale. It seems to be collected just by his instinct and I felt as if I saw inside of his head.
Murakami is one of my favorite artists. Especially, I like what he is thinking and saying rather than what he is drawing. He is a great concept maker and an eloquent speaker as well. I remember his “declaration” for the exhibition “Super Flat Declaration” that he curated in 2001. It starts with this phrase, “Japan might be the future of the world. And the Japan of today is SUPER FLAT.” So cool, isn’t it?
The declaration continues, “…everything from society and public morals to art and culture is super two dimensional.” He says “Super Flat” is a new concept to understand Japanese original culture. Now, Japanese students learn perspective and Western art at school. The two dimensional structure has been disregarded since Japan modernized in the Meiji era. However, Murakami indicated that sense of two dimensional structure have been handed down through games, manga, and animation culture.
In this exhibition, Murakami expanded the definition of the concept “Superflat.” Everything in here seems to be equal in value. There is no historical period, no genre, no hierarchies, and no logic in his collection. It’s the chaotic world, which is a mixture of good and bad, valuable and invaluable.
Why has he been collecting so many art items? He explains it is to find the answer “what is art?” And he concludes that art is the crystallization of culture; that is, the social circumstances, human relationships, and ephemera of the era in which we live.
As I expected, what he is thinking is still super interesting!
Thank you very much for your click!