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拍品詳情

當代藝術日拍

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倫敦

Takashi Murakami
生於1962年
IN THE HEART'S EYE, A UNIVERSE
signed; signed, dated 07 and variously inscribed on the reverse
acrylic and gold leaf on canvas mounted on board
180.4 by 213.4cm.; 71 by 84in.
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來源

Gagosian Gallery, New York
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

展覽

New York, Gagosian Gallery, Tranquility of the heart, torment of the flesh - open wide the eye of the heart, and nothing is invisible, 2007
Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Zen Mind/Zen Brush: Japanese Ink Paintings from the Gitter-Yelen Collection, 2008-09
Doha, Qatar Museums Authority, Al Riwaq Hall, Murakami – Ego, 2012, pp. 177 and 260, illustrated in colour

相關資料

In the Heart’s Eye, a Universe – one of a series of monumental portraits of the Sixth Century monk Bodhidharma – is a stunning example of Takashi Murakami’s immediately recognisable and supremely successful amalgamation of Japanese and Western cultural iconography.

Bodhidharma, known in Japan as Daruma, was one of the founding fathers of Zen Buddhism, who despite his wide pan-Asian recognition remains a character shrouded in mystery. There are very few existent texts documenting his life, but legend tells how after being refused entry into the Shaolin Monastery in Northern China he moved to live in a nearby cave, making the decision to devote the following nine years to meditation facing a wall. In one version of the story he briefly succumbs to sleep after seven years of meditation, and upon waking cuts off his eyelids to ensure this can never happen again. Murakami reinvents this ancient figure assimilating into his image both traditional screen painting representations of Bodhidharma and the cartoon-esque image of the Daruma doll that remains a mainstay of Japanese culture.

In his appropriation of this ancient figure Murakami fulfils part of his longstanding ambition to create, “a portrait of Japan, the picture of a nation and a culture” (the artist quoted in: Exhibition Catalogue, Doha, ALRIWAQ , Murakami Ego, 2012, p. 4). Initially Murakami trained in traditional methods of Japanese artistic production - techniques learnt during his study of the hyper-stylised Nineteenth Century nihon-ga painting at Tokyo National University in the 1980s - but he abandoned this in the search for a form that could express his innovative individuality: “In those days, I was looking for a form that would express my originality… But what was my identity? The answer is that I didn’t really have one. So I felt that the only thing I could do, to explain that absence of identity, was to pile up all the formative layers that had contributed to my background…my work in the field of nihon-ga, the soldier figures that I used, my very marked taste for manga and for anime. I thought that by making all that clear… I would be able to start up something else” (the artist in interview with Hélène Kelmachter in: Exhibition Catalogue, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, London, Serpentine Gallery, takashi murakami kaikai kiki , 2002-3, p. 73). His early work embraced the contemporary influences of anime and manga, before going on to assimilate the computer-based graphics of otaku and the cute cartoon style of kawaii.

The present work was exhibited as part of the Murakami Ego exhibition in Doha in 2012; an exhibition that in part saw a new artistic departure for Murakami. In response to the Japanese earthquake disaster in 2011 Murakami returned to an older tradition, revisiting the image of the ‘rakan’ in his series 500 Arhats. The ‘arhats’ or ‘rakan’ were cult figures, purported to have been followers of the historical Buddha they were immortalised by the artist Kanō Kazunobu, in a series of one hundred painted scrolls. Murakami’s art has always been concerned with bridging the gulf between past and present; in the 500 Arhats he uses a traditional icon to update his own practice to embrace contemporary Japanese experience. In the hallucinatory intensity of In the Heart’s Eye, a Universe, Murakami pre-empts the style that he used so successfully in 500 Arhats, embracing an older artistic tradition and modernising it through his emphasis on a carefully constructed two-dimensionality and a principally decorative register. Murakami’s ingenious blend of temporal and cultural locations is part of his wider efforts to reinvigorate and restore pride in the culture of his nation, reversing the dominating sense of post-war inferiority and challenging the American dominance of Pop Art culture with his own distinctive style.

當代藝術日拍

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倫敦