Japanese contemporary art has become very popular around the globe in recent years, while in Japan itself, things are taking a slower pace. Some critiques say the reason for this is the sharp eye of the Japanese collectors, who are selective with their support.
The name everything revolves around in Japanese pop-culture is Takashi Murakami. A mix-media artist who works both in fine arts and commercial media, so painting and sculpting somehow blend with fashion, merchandise and animation.
Murakami coined the term “superflat” which he uses to describe Japanese post-war culture and society, where class differences have been “flattened.” He also uses it to describe his own art-style which is repackaging elements that are “low” into a “high-art” market. He also repackages his “high-art” market work into merchandise and sells them at affordable prices.
Murakami is the founder and president of Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd. which he uses to manage younger artists and to help them develop their careers.
His art is described in various terms: cute, psychedelic, satirical. His best-known motifs are smiling flowers, mushrooms, skulls, as well as Buddhist iconography. Among other cool things he does, in 2011 he was an author of a doodle for Google tagged as “The first day of summer.”