2023-01-26 – 2023-04-16
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Busan Museum of Art hosts TAKASHI MURAKAMI: MurakamiZombie, the fourth exhibition in the series Lee Ufan and His Friends. The large-scale retrospective exhibition of the pre-eminent Japanese artist features paintings, large sculptures,
installations, and video art, as well as some of his earliest pieces never before publicly shown. In this exhibition carrying the title “Murakami Zombie,” a “zombie aesthetic” is deployed by the internationally renowned artist, whose global reputation grew from works inspired by Japanese pop culture motifs.
The “zombie,” emblematic of the collective anxiety of the contemporary world, has become increasingly prevalent in all sorts of pop culture media, from movies to webtoons to animated characters. Zombies have been interpreted as a product of
the “neo liberalism” of the modern world and the associated ‘anxiety’ of its people, or the symbolic grotesque phenomena of contemporary civilization.
Having exemplified the aesthetics of Japanese pop culture, especially manga (comics) and animation – namely aspects like “kawaii” (可愛い, cuteness), the “grotesque”, and “mono no aware” (物の哀れ , the pathos of things, referring to the deep emotion that objects can evoke in us) – Murakami now moves further to
actively expand the “zombie aesthetic”. The exhibition offers fascinating insights, illuminating the diverse approaches found in Murakami’s earliest works and revealing their connections to the artist’s subsequent work. In particular, viewers will discover the specific forms of “Murakami Zombie” unveiled as extensions
of his past signature grotesque aesthetics through an exploration of the remarkable changes found in the artist’s oeuvre following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
In addition, Takashi Murakami’s series “ensō” will be shown at Space Lee Ufan. The iconic series is one of the art projects composed with the most similar forms to those of Lee Ufan’s works. While Lee Ufan’s works express an East Asian outlook on spirituality and physicality with the minimal artistic elements of dots and lines, Murakami’s “ensō” series expresses the moment when the mind is empty and free to let the body create, evincing a distinct philosophical correspondence between the two artists’ works. Comparing and appreciating the works of these two
great masters at Space Lee Ufan will be another point of interest offered by this exhibition.

Exhibition view of Takashi Murakami 'MurakamiZombie' at Busan Museum of Art, Busan, South Korea, 2023
Photo: Studio Jeongbiso, Dongseok Park
©Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

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