Japan Society Gallery, Spring 2005
Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture
Curated by Takashi Murakami
April 8 - July 24, 2005
Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture explores the culture of postwar Japan through its arts and popular visual media, from the perspective of one of Japan's most celebrated artists. Focusing on the phenomenally influential subcultures of otaku (roughly translated as "pop cult fanaticism") and its relationships to Japan's artistic vanguard, Takashi Murakami explores the historical influences that shape Japanese contemporary art and its distinct graphic idioms. The exhibition's title, Little Boy, refers to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, clearly locating the birth of these new cultural forms in the trauma and generational aftershock. In Murakami's perspective, a resonant figure for Japan's contemporary condition is that of the "little boy"--both the nickname for the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and an image of Japan's infantalized culture.
Little Boy concludes Murakami's "Superflat" trilogy, a project conceived in 2000 to introduce a new wave of Japanese artists and to place their work in the historical context of traditional Japanese styles and concepts. The exhibition will showcase the work of key otaku artists and designers, many of whom are cult celebrities in Japan, and introduces their film and video animations, video games and internet sites, music, toys, and fashion to American audiences.
Work by Anno Hideaki, Aoshima Chiho, Ban Chinatsu, Fujiko F. Fujio, Kawashima Hideaki, Kato Izumi, Komatsuzaki Shigeru, Mahomi Kunikata, Matsumoto Reiji, Miura Jun, "Mr.," Narita Toru, Okamoto Taro, Oshima Yuki, Otomo Katsuhiro, Otomo Shoji, Takano Aya, Tsubaki Noboru, Yanobe Kenji, Yoshitomo Nara, and Murakami will be exhibited. Public art works by Ban, Aoshima and Murakami will be installed at sites throughout New York City.
A fully illustrated, bilingual catalogue, co-published with Yale University Press, accompanies the exhibition, with essays by Murakami, Midori Matsui, Morikawa Kaichiro, Okada Toshio, Sawagari Noi, Katy Siegel and project directors Tom Eccles, Director of the Public Art Fund and Alexandra Munroe, Director of the Gallery and Vice President of Arts & Culture at Japan Society.
Tuesday through Thursday, 11 am - 6 pm
Friday, 11 am - 9 pm
Saturday & Sunday, 11 am - 5 pm