Takashi Murakami - Mr Dob (Original), 2016

Takashi Murakami

Japan 1962



Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami
March 20, 2016
Behind the pseudonym of Lor Dethal lies Nemanja Torlak, a writer for Widewalls intrigued and moved by diversity in art and in the lives of those who create it. It is often the unexpected that come forth and surprise us, and art is a world that allows it and makes it possible. David beats the Goliath daily, and writing about it is a pleasure.

There is no light without the dark, no life without death, no yin without the yang. One completes the other, and often the two sides of the coin aren’t mutually exclusive. There’s a lot of such duality in art as well: ancient and contemporary, East and West, high and low… To have a clear distinction of the line between such realms is one of the basic principles of the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami who learns from both aspects of any given subject and sometimes merges them together in his work. Titled as the Japanese Andy Warhol, he deals with Japanese aesthetics and cultural criticism in his cartoony paintings, bringing together commercial and fine art.

Takashi Murakami deals with Japanese aesthetics and cultural criticism

Takashi Murakami open sculptures
Takashi Murakami – 727, 2003. Photo credits taipei-jp.gallery-kaikaikiki.com

Takashi Murakami: The Japanese Andy Warhol

Comparisons to Andy Warhol have defined the career of Takashi Murakami who has been frequently described, since emerging in the 1990s, as Asia’s counterpart of the US pop artist, using much of the same fusion of the commercial and fine art in his colorful pieces.  And, like Warhol, Takashi Murakami also works with teams of assistants to complete large works. The comparison has brought both merits and difficulties to the Japanese artist, and he’s learned to accept and embrace the connection with Warhol that was bestowed upon him. He does have a certain amount of reserve and states that “I’m very sad to be compared with Warhol and The Factory, because I have no drugs, you know. We have no drug culture in Japan!

Takashi Murakami was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. He attended T.U.A Tokyo University of the Arts (formerly the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music), and although his original plan was to master the skills necessary for becoming an animator, he eventually majored in Nihonga, which is the “traditional” style of Japanese painting that incorporating techniques, subjects, and styles that are native to Japan.

Murakami is titled as the Japanese Andy Warhol

Takashi Murakami open sculptures
Takashi Murakami – Hands Clasped (detail), 2015. Photo credits features.japantimes.co.jp

From Nihonga to Otaku

Due to the mass popularity of anime and manga, Japanese styles of animation and comic graphic stories, he became disillusioned with Nihonga and became fixated on Otaku culture, which he felt was more representative of modern-day Japanese life. The University of Tokyo recently introduced an undergraduate course on Otaku culture; Otaku is a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, most commonly those absorbed by anime and manga. Otaku subculture is at the center of various anime and manga works, documentaries and academic research, and its birth in the 1980s came with the growing popularity of anime and the change occurring in the social perception of Otaku traits.

Takashi Murakami achieved great recognition for Otaku-like designs: building on the Otaku fascination with game and anime characters, his studio has produced larger than life fiberglass figurines that exhibit the fetishism of the cosplay culture, where kids dress up as their favorite characters, and the sexualization of manga images. For example, Hiropon, the pornographic fiberglass creation is an anime-type character with monstrously huge lactating breasts that are spilling out of her bikini. This super-sized fantasy figurine sold at an auction in 2002 for $427,500 and helped transform Takashi Murakami into a globally recognized art-world rock star. “I became an otaku when I was in high school and absorbed many different things from anime, like its erotic and fantasy elements… that very process resulted in that work,“, he says, adding that his art is about finding his true self.

Takashi Murakami achieved great recognition for Otaku-like designs

Takashi Murakami contact museum
Left: Takashi Murakami – My Lonesome Cowboy, 1998 / Right: Takashi Murakami – Hiropon, 2002. Photos credit pinterest.com


In 2000, he developed and exhibited a signature two-dimensional style he called Superflat. This distinctive style employs highly refined traditional Japanese painting techniques to depict a super-charged mix of Pop, animé and Otaku content, displaying both cultural inspirations and aesthetic issues all within the dimension of the narrative. The style is characterized by flat planes of color and graphic images that portray a design obviously originating from anime and manga. The Superflat movement propelled Takashi to fame in the 1990s and eventually caught the eye of the designer Marc Jacobs. In 2002, Jacobs, as creative director of Louis Vuitton, collaborated with Murakami to update the traditional LV logo. The handbag collection became a defining accessory of the decade.

Superflat is also the name of a 2001 art exhibition curated by Takashi Murakami, one that toured West Hollywood, Minneapolis, and Seattle. Superflat is used by Murakami to refer to various flattened forms in Japanese graphic art, animation, pop and fine arts, as well as the “shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer society.” With enough audience supporting it, the successful niche marketing made Superflat into an art movement, and though it was designed for Western audiences, it has been embraced by American artists who have created their own version of the phenomenon and called it SoFlo Superflat. Artists whose artwork is regarded as Superflat include Chiho Aoshima, Mahomi Kunikata, Sayuri Michima, Yoshitomo Nara, Aya Takano and Takashi Murakami, among others.

Murakami’s definition of Superflat comes in very broad terms which allow for the subject matter to be diverse and encompass a variety of themes. Often, the works explore the consumerism and sexual fetishism that is prevalent in post-war Japan and includes lolicon art which is, in return, parodied by works such as those by Henmaru Machino. The variety comes from an exploration of Otaku sexuality through grotesque and/or distorted images; other works are more concerned with a fear of growing up, and some works focus on the basic form, underlying desires that comprise Otaku and overall post-war Japan. Initially, Murakami’s aim was not to make his works as fine-art media but decided instead to focus on the market sustainability of art and promote himself first overseas. This marks the birth of KaiKai Kiki, LLC.

The subject matter of Superflat is diverse and encompasses a variety of themes

Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami – Tan Tan Bo Puking – a.k.a. Gero-tan, 2002. Photo credits diario-grafico.tumblr.com

The Empire of Kaikai Kiki

In 1996, Takashi Murakami founded the Hiropon factory in Tokyo which later evolved into Kaikai Kiki, a corporation that deals with art production and art management. The company does more than promote the works of its founder: Kaikai Kiki works as a nurturing environment for new, fresh talent, supporting young, emerging artists. Kaikai Kiki evolved from an art production and promotion company into a collaborative vehicle for like-minded artists. The public exposure and conjoint exhibitions with Murakami have definitely aided the artists that are just beginning their careers, making Kaikai Kiki an ideal and desirable place to start such a path. Although Murakami supervises the work’s production, he never actively paints or sculpts the final work.

Striving towards the “God-like” craftsmanship skills of Duchamp, Warhol, and Van Gogh, Murakami imposes certain requirements not only on himself and his training, but on those that seek to become members of Kaikai Kiki. A madness of a sort, one that permeates the reality of these legendary artists that have entered a realm beyond the human capabilities, he seeks to reach this level of visual quality and demands it in the works of others. With a thriving business already set up, the company also does mass production of various products that feature Murakami’s signature images: vinyl figurines, plush toys, keychains, t-shirts, posters, and much more.

Takashi Murakami strives towards the craftsmanship skills of Duchamp, Warhol, and Van Gogh

Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami – Flowers and Skulls, 2012. Photo credits dayoftheartist.com

Between East and West

With a strong belief that an artist should realize and study the boundaries between different worlds, he has represented a bridge between many of the oppositions like the high and the low, the ancient and the modern. Through his work, Murakami portrayed these contradictions in East and West, past and present, high art and low culture, all the while maintaining accessibility and interest in his pieces. Using his knowledge of Western art, he integrated the Eastern culture within the Western frame and successfully created a revolution in the world of art. Although he had moved on to the art of animation for its popularity, this portrayal of contradictions between the contemporary Japanese and American societies marked his early sculptural work during the beginning of the 1990s.

Murakami has portrayed the contradictions in East and West, past and present, high art and low culture

Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami – The 500 Arhats (detail), 2012. Photo credits japantimes.co.jp


In 1993, Takashi Murakami created and alter ego under the name of Mr. DOB, serving as a sort of a self-portrait. Mr. DOB is described to have a circular head with two ears, with the letter D inscribed on his left ear and the letter B on the right ear, with the face being O-shaped, thus inscribing his name in its form. DOB is a contraction of the dada-like phrase, “Dobojite dobojite” standing for “Why? Why?” which derives from the comic book Inakappe Taisho. The character of Mr. DOB was supposed to be iconic, authentically representing the Japanese culture while having a universal appeal. This alter ego of Murakami’s is capturing elements of both Japanese and American animation; DOB – who underwent a transformation over time, having his appearances in various pieces becoming darker and more menacing – became a cult hit and presented Takashi Murakami as a name belonging to more than just the gallery circuit.

This alter ego of Murakami’s is capturing elements of both Japanese and American animation

Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami – Tan Tan Bo, 2001. Photo credits wikiart.com

In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow

His 2014 psychedelic exhibit In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, held in Gagosian Gallery, borrows freely from the past and displays ancient art and architecture in Murakami’s signature opposition, a high-low, cross-cultural aesthetic of Superflat. With its allusions to the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear meltdown, this exhibition as a whole puts to the forefront the ways in which religion and art try to define inexplicable calamities that occur. Murakami began examining Japanese artworks which were created in the wake of natural disasters throughout Japan’s history: “To me, religions are a narrative… Natural catastrophes, earthquakes, are things caused by nature. Such chaos is natural, but we have to make sense of it somehow, and so we had to invent these stories.” Following the Great Tohoku Earthquake of 2011, Murakami created a series of works on the subject, many of which were exhibited in this show.

The show’s most striking piece, Bakuramon, simulates a legendary gate that once led to the capital city of Heian-kyo (modern-day Kyoto) in the 10th century Japan. Placed at the sight of a viewer turning the corner inside the Gagosian Gallery to enter the show, the gate uses wood and stone, and rises nearly to the rafters. The original gate was known as Rashomon, and it served as the setting for the short story underpinning the famous Akira Kurosawa movie of the same name. The version that Murakami made evokes an entrance to another world, as it displays a skull that grins through the gate, marked by the bright colors distinct for the Otaku society. Rashomon was destroyed twice by storms, and it served as dumping grounds for bodies during the famine of the 12th century. In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow presented also gargantuan canvases leafed in gold and platinum: Murakami’s work is driven by his vision of an authentic Japanese identity rising phoenix-like from the authenticity of anime and manga. In other words, he harbors nationalistic sentiments uncomfortably close to those that propelled Japan into World War II.

Bakuramon simulates a legendary gate that once led to the capital city of Heian-kyo

Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami – Bakuramon, 2014. Photo credits ephemeralist.com

Takashi Murakami and Messi for Unicef

In 2015, portraits of the Barcelona striker Lionel Messi by Takashi Murakami have been commissioned as part of the “1 in 11” campaign, a collaboration between Unicef, FC Barcelona Foundation and Reach Out To Asia to extend educational opportunities to marginalized children in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal. The artworks were auctioned at Sotheby’s in London with the goal to raise funds for the charity. Messi, a three-time winner of the Golden Boot award and a Unicef goodwill ambassador, is a figurehead for “1 in 11” and is leading the efforts to raise awareness and money for the charity. Murakami said the Messi portrait, in which the footballer’s image is superimposed on the artist’s signature comic-book-style flowered background, was part of his ongoing series of portraits of cultural figures of our era.

Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami – Lionel Messi (detail), 2015. Photo credits complex.com

Jellyfish Eyes

Jellyfish Eyes is a debut feature film by Takashi Murakami, a loving homage to Japanese popular culture. It is the first in a trilogy of feature films directed and produced by Takashi Murakami, debuted in April of 2013 at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and it has screened at museums and cinemas throughout the world. Jellyfish Eyes is a story about a young child who discovers himself through an unusual friendship. The live-action feature-film of Takashi Murakami brings the acclaimed visual artist’s trademark aesthetic to a live-action world; elementary-school years may not have looked like this, but all that imagination and moments of wonder feel familiar all the same.

A Leading Figure in Contemporary Art World

Takashi Murakami’s art is some of the most wanted in the world at the start of the 21st century, and for a good reason: he broke the barriers imposed by cultures, demonstrating how his distinctly Japanese works can find a place in any international domain. An intriguing person as much as an artist, the TIME’s one of the 100 most influential people in the world from 2008 breeds lotus plants, small guppies, and beetles in his spare time. With his mind set on reaching the level of the legends of art history, Murakami strives forward in his work and leads young talents on the path of success with him.

Takashi Murakami lives and works in Tokyo.

Featured image: Takashi Murakami – Mr. Dob (Original) *, 2016. Vinyl, ABS Resin. 9 3/10 × 10 4/5 × 7 9/10 in. 23.5 × 27.5 × 20 cm. This is part of a limited edition set. Photo courtesy Perrotin
All images used for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2015Murakami: The 500 ArhatsMori Art Museum, TokyoSolo
2015Patron Artists Of Fgap: Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Andreas Gursky And Takashi Murakami PinchukArtCentre, KievGroup
2014In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a RainbowGagosian Gallery , New York City, NYSolo
2014Takashi Murakami. Il Ciclo Di ArhatPalazzo Reale, MilanSolo
2014Beg, Borrow and StealTaubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, WVGroup
2014GirlGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin, ParisGroup
2014The Magic of SpringAsan Gallery, AsanGroup
2014Corporeality and SexualityKunstglaube, ViennaGroup
2014Takahashi Collection 2014: Mindfulness!The Nagoya City Art Museum, NagoyaGroup
2014Hired HandThe Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, ILGroup
2014Dirge: Reflections On [Life And] DeathMOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland,Cleveland, OHGroup
2014Making Links: 25 yearsSCAI the Bathhouse, TokyoGroup
2014Little Art Lovers. Art and Design for ChildrenStilwerk limited edition design gallery, HamburgGroup
2013Takashi in Superflat Wonderland - PLATEAUSamsung Museum of Art, SeoulSolo
2013Takashi MurakamiGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Hong KongSolo
2013Takashi Murakami - ArhatBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CASolo
2013Freedom Not Genius - Works From Damien Hirst's CollectionMultimedia Art Museum - Moscow House of Photography, MoscowGroup
2013IslandDairy Art Centre, LondonGroup
2013Edition ExhibitionAsan Gallery, AsanGroup
2013Takahashi Collection Mindfulness!Sapporp Art Museum, Sapporo, HokkaidoGroup
2013Why not live for Art? II - 9 collectors reveal their treasuresTokyo Opera City Art Gallery,TokyoGroup
2013Takahashi Collection Mindfulness!Kirishima Open-Air Museum, KagoshimaGroup
2013Dinard, L’Amour AtomiquePalais des Arts Dinard, DinardGroup
2013Red Contemporary MastersGalerie Antoine Helwaser, ParisGroup
2013Rêves de VeniseInstitut culturel Bernard Magrez, BordeauxGroup
20134 Walls34FineArt, Cape TownGroup
2013sous influences - arts plastiques et psychotropesLa Maison Rouge, ParisGroup
2013Beg, Borrow and StealPalm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CAGroup
2012Takashi Murakami - Flowers & SkullsGagosian Gallery, Hong KongSolo
2012Don't Be Shy, Don't Hold Back - The Logan Collection At SfmomaSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CAGroup
2012We Could Be Heroes: The Mythology of Monsters and Heroes in Contemporary ArtBrigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, UTGroup
2012Moment - Ynglingagatan 1Moderna Museet, StockholmGroup
2012Future Pass World ExhibitionToday Art Museum, BeijingGroup
2012Testing Testing 1.2.3 : SongEun CollectionSongEun ArtSpace, SeoulGroup
2012Battleground StatesUtah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, UTGroup
2012Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty YearsThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NYGroup
2012Son et Lumière - et sagesse profonde21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, KanazawaGroup
2012End Of Summer (2012)IKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2012Think FlatBrigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, UTGroup
2012Pop-Classic - Originals and Graphic worksGalerie Wild, ZurichGroup
2012Emulate34FineArt, Cape TownGroup
2012Accrochage der Pop ArtKünstler Der Galerie - Galerie Fluegel-Roncak, Nuremberg Group
2012Various Artists - Almost For FreeTorch Gallery, AmsterdamGroup
2012Happy HaikuFerenbalm-Gurbrü Station, KarlsruheGroup
2012Happy HaikuGalerie Royal, MunichGroup
2012Group ExhibitionTakeda Art Co., TokyoGroup
2012Future PassNational Taiwan Museum of Art, TaichungGroup
2012FlowerPowerGalerie ABTART, StuttgartGroup
2012New Arrivals - Group Exhibition34FineArt, Cape TownGroup
2012Pinturas de la Rubell Family CollectionFundación Banco Santander, Boadilla del MonteGroup
2012Toy StoriesWestport Arts Center, Westport, CTGroup
2012Credit Suisse: Innovation In Art Series The Collectors Show: Chimera Asian Contemporary Art from Private CollectionsSingapore Art Museum, SingaporeGroup
2011Takashi Murakami - Tondo WorksFabrik Contemporary Art, Hong KongSolo
2011Future PassWereldmuseum, RotterdamGroup
2011Relate34FineArt, Cape TownGroup
2011End of Year Sale Whitestone Gallery, TokyoGroup
2011Collection Platform 2: CirculationPinchukArtCentre, KievGroup
2011Asian ArtRudolf Budja Galerie, Artmosphere Graz, GrazGroup
2011Art + Present: Gifts from the Peter Norton Family The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TXGroup
2011Luxury and DegradationGalerie Tanit, MunichGroup
2011Sothebys - Beyond LimitsChatsworth House, Bakewell, DerbyshireGroup
2011Francois Pinault Collection: Agony and EcstasySongEun ArtSpace, SeoulGroup
2011Creating the New Century - Contemporary Art from the Dicke CollectionFort Collins Museum of Art, Fort Collins, COGroup
2011Taguchi Art Collection - Global New ArtSompo Japan Museum of Art, TokyoGroup
2011Slice of SummerIKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2011Flower PowerDesigner´s Gallery, Gabrielle Ammann, CologneGroup
2011Trans-cool Tokyo: Contemporary Japanese Art From The Mot CollectionTaipei Fine Arts Museum, TaipeiGroup
2011A History of EditionsGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin, ParisGroup
2011Adventures In WonderlandMdM Museum, Porto CervoGroup
2011The World Belongs to YouPalazzo Grassi - Francois Pinault Foundation, VeniceGroup
2011Adding to the Mix 1: John Wesley’s Boeing (1982)Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NCGroup
2011Made in JapanTezukayama Gallery, OsakaGroup
2011Pop Art HeavyweightsFabrik Contemporary Art, Hong KongGroup
2011Eye-openerFunen Art Museum, OdenseGroup
2011Collection Platform 1: CirculationPinchuk Art Centre, KievGroup
2011Goldmine: Contemporary Works From The Collection Of Sirje And Michael GoldUAM - University Art Museum, Long Beach, CAGroup
2011Japan Contemporary Art ExhibitionOther Gallery Shanghai, ShanghaiGroup
2011Pattern IDKemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MOGroup
2010Takashi MurakamiGagosian Gallery, RomeSolo
2010Takashi Murakami - Murakami's FlowersFabrik Contemporary Art, Hong KongSolo
2010Takashi MurakamiPinchukArtCentre, KievSolo
2010Murakami VersaillesChateau de Versailles, VersaillesSolo
2010Takashi Murakami - Contemporary Japanese PrintsFabrik Contemporary Art, Hong KongSolo
2010Gagosian Pop-Up!Gagosian Gallery, LondonGroup
2010PopularGalerie Thomas Modern, MunichGroup
2010Trans-Cool TOKYOSingapore Art Museum, SingaporeGroup
2010Cosa fa la mia anima mentre sto lavorando?Museo MAGA, Gallarte, VAGroup
2010fashionable art - Mode in der KunstKunst Raum Riehen, BaselGroup
2010Luc Tuymans: A vision of Central EuropeBrugge Centraal, BrugesGroup
2010Tauba Auerbach, Matthew Day Jackson, R.H. Quaytman, etc…Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, ParisGroup
2010Femme fataleRudolf Budja Galerie, Artmosphere Salzburg, SalzburgGroup
2010Painting For Joy: New Japanese Paintings in 1990΄sCenter for Contemporary Arts Celje, CeljeGroup
2010Pop Life: Art in a Material WorldNational Gallery of Canada - Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, ONGroup
2010Manga in AmsterdamWillem Kerseboom Modern & Contemporary Art, AmsterdamGroup
2010Pop Art Never DieTezukayama Gallery, OsakaGroup
2010Sexuality and transcendencePinchuk Art Centre, KievGroup
2010Clouds:Power of Asian Contemporary ArtSoka Art Center, BeijingGroup
2010Global Art ShowThe Columns, SeoulGroup
2010Welt in der HandKunsthaus Dresden, DresdenGroup
2010Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou CollectionNew Museum of Contemporary Art,New York City, NYGroup
2010DisquietedPortland Art Museum, Portland, ORGroup
2010Think PinkGavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FLGroup
2010Pop Life - Warhol, Haring, Koons, Hirst, …Hamburger Kunsthalle, HamburgGroup
2010Facing EastInitial Access Frank Cohen Collection, WolverhamptonGroup
2010Facing East: Recent Works from China, India and Japan from the Frank Cohen CollectionManchester Art Gallery, ManchesterGroup
2010New Japanese Painting in 1990sHDLU - Croatian Association of Artists, ZagrebGroup
2010Pattern IDAkron Art Museum, Akron, OHGroup
2009Editions Limited Takashi Murakami34FineArt, Cape TownSolo
2009I Love Prints And So I Make ThemKaikai Kiki Gallery, TokyoSolo
2009Takashi Murakami - Picture of Fate: I Am But a Fisherman Who Angles In the Darkness of His MindGagosian Gallery , New York City, NYSolo
2009Takashi Murakami Paints Self - PortraitsGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin, ParisSolo
2009Takashi Murakami - Inochi Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam Solo
2009Takashi Murakami - Prints and MultiplesGalerie Alex Daniels, Reflex Amsterdam,AmsterdamSolo
2009InochiKaikai Kiki Gallery, TokyoSolo
2009© MurakamiMuseo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, BilbaoSolo
2009Takashi Murakami - New PaintingsGagosian Gallery, LondonSolo
2009Animamix Biennial - Visial Attract & Attack 2009-2010Animamix Biennial 2009-2010, TaipeiGroup
2009Beg Borrow and StealRubell Family Collection, Miami, FLGroup
2009LIGHTS! CAMERA! TRASH!  Galerie Fluegel-Roncak, NurembergGroup
2009Plastic Culture: Legacies of Pop 1962 – 2008Bradford 1 Gallery, BradfordGroup
2009Mirror Mirror: Contemporary Portraits and the Fugitive SelfBrigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, UTGroup
200915th Anniversary Inaugural ExhibitionBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009Pop Life: Art in a Material WorldTate Modern, LondonGroup
2009Pop My CherryPatricia Low Contemporary, GenevaGroup
2009From Home to the Museum, Tanaka Tsuneko CollectionMuseum of Modern Art Wakayama,WakayamaGroup
2009Plastic CultureThe Exchange, Penzance, CornwallGroup
2009Don't Panic! I'm Selling My CollectionRental Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009Superflat SummerFabrik Contemporary Art, Hong KongGroup
2009Mapping the Studio: Artists from the Francois Pinault CollectionPalazzo Grassi - Francois Pinault Foundation, VeniceGroup
2009Vraoum ! trésors de la bande dessinée et art contemporainLa Maison Rouge, ParisGroup
2009FLOWER POWERCraa Centro di ricerca arte attuale Villa Giulia, VerbaniaGroup
2009Four - 4 - photography-painting-sculpture-drawing and videoBlack Cube Gallery, BarcelonaGroup
2009With You I Want to Live: Gordon Locksley & George T. Shea CollectionMuseum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FLGroup
2009East meets WestJealous Gallery, LondonGroup
2009Un Certain Etat du Monde ? A Certain State of the World ? Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, MoscowGroup
2009Made In JapanFabrik Contemporary Art, Hong KongGroup
2008MurakamiMuseum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), FrankfurtSolo
2008Prints: My First Art SeriesKaikai Kiki Gallery, TokyoSolo
2008Takashi MurakamiBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CASolo
2008MurakamiBrooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, NYSolo
2008Hirst, Murakami & WarholIKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2008HI & LOKaikai Kiki Gallery, TokyoGroup
2008Wood, Metal, PlasticUCR Sweeney Art Gallery, Riverside, CAGroup
2008EncountersPace Beijing, BeijingGroup
2008Summer of Contemporary ArtChiba City Museum of Art, ChibaGroup
2008Asian Contemporary ArtRudolf Budja Galerie, Artmosphere Salzburg, SalzburgGroup
2008Pretty UglyGavin Brown's Enterprise, New York City, NYGroup
2008I Won't Grow UpCheim & Read, New York City, NYGroup
2008Collage e opere su carta - D. Hirst , T. Murakami, P. Picasso, F. Sanna, A. WarholGalleria La Fenice, SassariGroup
2008In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz FactorLaguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CAGroup
2008RetrospectiveGagosian Gallery , New York City, NYGroup
2008Less is less, more is more, that’s allCAPC - Musée d'art contemporain, BordeauxGroup
2008Allarmi 2008Como Arte, ComoGroup
2008Collection I21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art - Kanazawa, KanazawaGroup
2008Las Vegas Collects ContemporaryLas Vegas Art Museum - LVAM, Las Vegas, NVGroup
2008Great New Wave: Contemporary Art from JapanArt Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, ONGroup
2008Esculturismos - ALCALÁ 31Sala de Exposiciones, MadridGroup
2008Pop Art: Now and ThenWolverhampton Art Gallery, WolverhamptonGroup
2008The Masked PortraitMarianne Boesky Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2007© MURAKAMIThe Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CASolo
2007MurakamiCasa Asia, MadridSolo
2007Takashi MurakamiGalerie Alex Daniels, Reflex Amsterdam, AmsterdamSolo
2007Takashi Murakami PrintsGallery 2, SeoulSolo
2007Takashi Murakami - SUPERFLATGalería GACMA, MálagaSolo
2007Takashi Murakami - Tranquility of the Heart Torment of the Flesh - Open Wide the Eye of the Heart, And Nothing is InvisibleGagosian Gallery , New York City, NYSolo
2007Takashi Murakami: Jellyfish EyesMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILSolo
2007Once upon a time... Today!Zonca & Zonca, MilanGroup
2007ReflectionPinchuk Art Centre, KievGroup
2007Pop Art is…Gagosian Gallery, London Group
2007“Don’t Look.” Contemporary Drawings from an Alumna’s Collection (Martina Yamin, Class of 1958)Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MAGroup
2007Small Is BeautifulUrsula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal-UnteröwisheimGroup
2007RED HOT — Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family CollectionMFAH - Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TXGroup
2007Summer ShowJohn Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2007Contemporary Outlook: Japan MFA - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MAGroup
2007Rockers Island - Olbricht CollectionMuseum Folkwang Essen, EssenGroup
2007Long life the Childhood!Johyun Gallery, BusanGroup
2007ConversationsTravesia Cuatro, MadridGroup
2007Contemporary ComicsCastel Sant'Elmo, NaplesGroup
2007Disorder in the HouseVanhaerents Art Collection, BrusselsGroup
2007Comic Abstraction - Image-Breaking, Image-MakingMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2007MY 2007Colette, ParisGroup
2006Limited unlimited34FineArt, Cape TownSolo
2006The Pressure Point of PaintingGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin, ParisSolo
2006ARS KUMAMOTO - The Power of Kumamoto at PresentContemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto - CAMK, KumamotoGroup
2006The Francois Pinault Collection - A Post-Pop selectionPalazzo Grassi - Francois Pinault Foundation, VeniceGroup
200620 Art Works in this 20 yearsMuseum of Contemporaray Art, Sapporo, HokkaidoGroup
2006Off the shelfThe Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NYGroup
200610th AnniversaryTomio Koyama Gallery, TokyoGroup
2006Spank the MonkeyBALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, GatesheadGroup
2006Contemporary sculptureZwirner & Wirth, New York City, NYGroup
2006Surprise, SurpriseICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts London, LondonGroup
2006Amadeus - Madeusa (Groupshow)Rudolf Budja Galerie, Artmosphere Salzburg, SalzburgGroup
2006OmotenashiRudolf Budja Galerie, Artmosphere Graz, GrazGroup
2006Luxury GoodsKathleen Cullen Fine Arts, New York City, NYGroup
2006Where are we going - Selections from the Francois Pinault CollectionPalazzo Grassi - Francois Pinault Foundation, VeniceGroup
2006Infinite Painting - Contemporary Painting and Global Realism - Villa ManinCentro d'arte contemporanea, Codroipo, UDGroup
2006Painting CodesGC.AC - Galleria Comunale d'Arte Contemporanea di Monfalcone, MonfalconeGroup
2006The CollectiblesContemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Saint Louis, MOGroup
2006The Group Sessions. Part IIGuy Hepner Contemporary, LondonGroup
2006LACMA at 40: Gifts in Honor of the Museum’s AnniversaryLos Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2006The Group Sessions. Part IGuy Hepner Contemporary, LondonGroup
2006Figures in the Field - Figurative Sculpture and Abstract Painting from Chicago CMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILGroup
2006Hundert Küsse sind besser als einer (Hundred Kisses are better than one)Krinzinger Projekte, ViennaGroup
2006POPulenceSoutheastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), Winston-Salem, NCGroup
2006Dragon Veins University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FLGroup
2005Takashi Murakami: t1 - Turin TriennialGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin, ParisSolo
2005Takashi Murakami: Moving energies #5Museum Folkwang Essen, EssenSolo
2005Takashi MurakamiSMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, GhentSolo
2005Art in the ‘Toon AgeArt and Culture Center of Hollywood, Hollywood, CAGroup
2005T1 Torino Triennale TremuseiTorino Trienniale, TurinGroup
2005Exhibition of Indoor CollectionsKirishima Open-Air Museum, KagoshimaGroup
2005Ecstasy - In and About Altered StatesThe Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005POPulenceMOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland, OHGroup
2005Post and After - Contemporary Art from the Brandeis CollectionThe Rose Art Museum,Waltham, MAGroup
2005Japan popManga and Japanese Contemporary Art - Helsinki Art Museum, HelsinkiGroup
2005CerealArtPerry Rubenstein Gallery - 526 West 24 street, New York City, NYGroup
2005POPulenceBlaffer Art Museum - University of Houston, Houston, TXGroup
2005Summer Group ShowRussell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, ILGroup
2005POP pop POPGana Art Gallery, SeoulGroup
2005TranslationPalais de Tokyo, ParisGroup
2005Les Grands Spectacles - 120 Jahre Kunst und MassenkulturMuseum der Moderne, SalzburgGroup
2005SurfaceLucas Schoormans Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005Interessi ZeroGalleria Civica di Trento, TrentoGroup
2005Characters: Scene 1SICA - The Shore Institute Of The Contemporary Arts, Long Branch, NJGroup
2005Colors & TripsMuseum der Stadt Ratingen, RatingenGroup
2005FASHION IN ART: ART IN FASHIONGuy Hepner Contemporary, LondonGroup
2005The Other Mainstream - Selections from the Collection of Mikki and Stanley WeithASU Art Museum - Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZGroup
2005Colours & TripsKünstlerhaus Palais Thurn & Taxis BV:BKV, BregenzGroup
2005Group Show: Opening Of The Gallery Space At 76 Rue De TurenneGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin - Paris, ParisGroup
2005Exposición de AperturaEspacio 1414, SanturceGroup
2004Takashi Murakami - Prints and MultiplesGuy Hepner Contemporary, LondonSolo
2004Takashi Murakami - Satoeri Ko² ChanTomio Koyama Gallery , TokyoSolo
2004Takashi Murakami - InochiBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CASolo
2004Bazar de veraoGaleria Fortes Vilaça, São PauloGroup
2004FUNNY CUTSStaatsgalerie Stuttgart,StuttgartGroup
2004De leur temps. Collections privées FrancaisesMUba Eugène Leroy, TourcoingGroup
2004Pillish: Harsh Realities and Gorgeous DestinationsMuseum of Contemporary Art Denver,Denver, COGroup
2004Liverpool Biennial 2004Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, LiverpoolGroup
2004Artiscope, BrusselsArtiscope, BrusselsGroup
2004Comic ReleaseArthouse at the Jones Center - Contemporary Art for Texas, Austin, TXGroup
2004Eijanaika Yes FutureCollection Lambert, AvignonGroup
2004Monument to nowDeste Foundation for Contemporary Art, AthensGroup
2004Seeing Other PeopleMarianne Boesky Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2004L’intime, le collectionneur derriere la porteLa Maison Rouge, ParisGroup
2004(in)appropriateMomus Gallery, Atlanta, GAGroup
2004Why not live for Art?Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, TokyoGroup
2004OPTIMO: Manifestations of Optimism in Contemporary ArtBallroom Marfa, Marfa, TXGroup
2004Street-Smart Art: Five Artists to Create BillboardsWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2004Crosscurrents At Century's EndTampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FLGroup
2004Yesterday's TreasuresIKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2003Reversed Double HelixPublic Art Fund, New York City, NYSolo
2003Takashi Murakami: Superflat monogramGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin, ParisSolo
2003Takashi Murakami: Superfist MonogramMarianne Boesky Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2003The Japanese ExperienceMuseum der Moderne, SalzburgGroup
2003Kokoro no aricaLudwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art, BudapestGroup
2003Supernova: Art of the 1990s from the Logan CollectionSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CAGroup
2003Happiness - A Survival Guide for Art and LifeMori Art Museum, TokyoGroup
2003My Reality: Contemporary Art And The Culture Of Japanese AnimationHuntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, ALGroup
2003Popular, Pop & Post-Pop: Color Screenprints 1930s to NowPhiladelphia Museum of Art,Philadelphia, PAGroup
2003Inaugural Group ShowBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2003My Reality: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese AnimationMuseum of Glass,Tacoma, WAGroup
2003LA InternationalIKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2003Lee 3 Tau Ceti Central Armory ShowVilla Arson, NiceGroup
2003Teddybär & CoDie Suche nach Mythen in der Kunst - Hilger modern, Vienna Group
2003New Prints 2003 SummerInternational Print Center New York, New York City, NYGroup
2003Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Comics in Contemporary ArtContemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TXGroup
200350th International Art Exhibition Venice BiennaleBiennale di Venezia - La Biennale di Venezia,VeniceGroup
2003On the Wall - Wallpaper and TableauThe Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2003My Reality - Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese AnimationNorton Museum of Art,West Palm Beach, FLGroup
2003Kids are us (I bambini siamo noi)Galleria Civica di Trento, TrentoGroup
2003Comic Release: Negotiating Identity for a New GenerationThe Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, PAGroup
2002Takashi Murakami - Kaikai KikiFondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, ParisSolo
2002Group ExhibitionBunkyo Art, TokyoGroup
2002Archivo PonsKoldo Mitxelena Kulturunea, San SebastiánGroup
2002POPjack: Warhol to MurakamiMuseum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, COGroup
2002My Reality: Contemporary Art And The Culture Of Japanese AnimationAkron Art Museum,Akron, OHGroup
2002Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary ArtMOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland, OHGroup
2002My Reality: Contemporary Art And The Culture Of Japanese AnimationChicago Cultural Center, Chicago, ILGroup
2002Weiche Brüche. JapanKunstraum Innsbruck, InnsbruckGroup
2002The Japanese Experience- InevitableUrsula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal-UnteröwisheimGroup
2002Eye in the SkyAckland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NCGroup
2002Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary ArtBrooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TNGroup
2002Takashi Murakami, Chiho Aoshima, Mr. et Aya takanoGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin ,Paris Group
2002New Prints 2002 SummerInternational Print Center New York, New York City, NYGroup
2002My Reality: Contemporary Art And The Culture Of Japanese AnimationTampa Museum of Art,Tampa, FLGroup
2002Out of the box - 20th-century print portfoliosPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2002My Reality: Contemporary Art And The Culture Of Japanese AnimationDes Moines Art Center,Des Moines, IAGroup
2002The Uncanny: Experiments in Cyborg CultureVancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BCGroup
2002My Reality: Contemporary Art And The Culture Of Japanese AnimationCAC - Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2001Takashi MurakamiMuseum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT), TokyoSolo
2001Takashi Murakami - Made in JapanMFA - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MASolo
2001Takashi MurakamiMarianne Boesky Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2001Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary ArtArt Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, ONGroup
2001SuperflatHenry Art Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2001Jap in the BoxStephen Friedman Gallery, LondonGroup
2001Forms Follows FictionCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, TurinGroup
2001In fumo - arte, fumetto, comunicazioneGAMeC - Galleria d´Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, BergamoGroup
2001Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary ArtCrocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CAGroup
2001MURAKAMI NARA NARA MURAKAMITomio Koyama Gallery, TokyoGroup
2001My reality - Contemporary art and the culture of Japanese animationBrooklyn Museum of Art,New York City, NYGroup
2001Camera Works - The Photographic Impulse in Contemporary ArtMarianne Boesky Gallery,New York City, NYGroup
2001SuperflatWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2001SITE Santa Fe's Fourth International BiennialSITElines, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2001Fourth International Biennial Exhibition: Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed CosmopolitanismSite Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2001Works on PaperVictoria Miro Gallery, LondonGroup
2001Un Art PopulaireFondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, ParisGroup
2001Silence ViolenceSCAI the Bathhouse, TokyoGroup
2001Almost Warm & FuzzyCaixaForum Barcelona, BarcelonaGroup
2001Public OfferingsThe Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2001Painting at the Edge of the WorldWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2001Almost Warm & Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary ArtMoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
2001Under PressureSI Swiss Institute, New York City, NYGroup
2001SuperflatMOCA Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CAGroup
2000Takashi Murakami: 727Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CASolo
2000Takashi Murakami: Second Mission Project ko2MoMA PS1, New York City, NYSolo
2000Au-delà du spectacleCentre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, ParisGroup
2000Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary ArtScottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art - SMoCA, Scottsdale, AZGroup
2000Twisted - Urban and Visionary Landscapes in Contemporary PaintingStedelijk Van Abbemuseum, EindhovenGroup
2000Yume no AtoStaatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-BadenGroup
2000BallsJames Cohan Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2000Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary ArtTacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WAGroup
2000OBJETS TROUVES - FUNDSTÜCKEHilger modern, Vienna Group
20005e Biennale de LyonPartage d'exotismes - La Biennale de Lyon, LyonGroup
2000Yume no Ato - Was vom Traum blieb ... - Haus am WaldseeDer Ort internationaler Gegenwartskunst in Berlin, Berlin Group
2000Colour Me Blind!Visual Research Centre, Dundee, ScotlandGroup
2000Continental ShiftLudwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, AachenGroup
2000Air Grimaldi Forum Monaco, MonacoGroup
2000Vacant LotToyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota AichiGroup
2000Made in JapanKantor Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2000Colour Me Blind!Kunsthalle Münster, MünsterGroup
2000Let's EntertainWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
1999Takashi Murakami - The meaning of the nonsense of the meaningHessel Museum of Art & Center for Curatorial Studies Galleries at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NYSolo
1999Takashi MurakamiMarianne Boesky Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
1998Takashi Murakami - Back BeatBlum & Poe, Los Angeles, CASolo
1998Takashi Murakami: Hiropon, Project Koko, Pity, Sakurako Jet Airplane a Nos. 1-6Feature Inc,New York City, NYSolo