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Past Exhibitions


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Making Things Right

Making Things Right, 2006, Mr., Japanese, b.1969, acrylic on canvas, 118 x 177 in., © 2006 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., All Rights Reserved, Photo courtesy Galerie Perrotin.

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Making Things Right (detail)

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Mr. is the best.

takashi murakami​, Internationally Acclaimed contemporary Japanese artist​

Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop

Sat Nov 22 2014 – Sun Apr 5 2015

Asian Art Museum

Tateuchi Galleries

The devastating disaster of the March 11, 2011 tsunami and the nuclear accident afterwards were both a shock and inspiration for Japanese Neo-Pop artist Mr. In response, he composed a massive installation made of hundreds of everyday objects from Japanese life. It’s the central work in this exhibition, presented here with a series of new paintings and other work. A reminder of the debris that blanketed the Tohoku area in the aftermath of 3.11 tsunami and earthquake, the installation embodies the post-disaster fear and frustration of the Japanese people since the catastrophic events.

Live On, which is organized by SAM, presents Mr.’s art of the past 15 years and is his first solo exhibition in a U.S. museum. Born in 1969, Mr. is a protégé of Takashi Murakami, internationally acclaimed icon of Japanese Pop art. He borrowed the name “Mr.” from “Mister Giants” (Shigeo Nagashima), the superstar clean-up hitter of the postwar Yomiuri Giants baseball team.

Having grown up during Japan’s postwar “economic miracle” period, Mr. often exercises his art as a weapon against social expectations. As a member of the otaku subculture, his work ties closely with the lifestyle, which is marked by obsessive interests in anime and manga and being confined in one’s room with limited interactions with other people. He says,


I’ve had one eye on anime since the day I was born.

The exhibition includes a group of Mr.’s new works that take kawaii (cute) Japanese Pop art to a new dimension, known as moe (which literally means budding). Through fictional, adorable characters, moe speaks to a longing for youth, or youthful energy. It grew out of Japanese youth subculture, and its rebellion against authority and political engagement in favor of fantasy and virtual experience.

While Mr.’s art often appears playful at first—even cheerful—its veneer of bright imagery expresses darker themes and addresses anxiety. The works seen here offer his personal and artistic responses to trauma—whether natural disaster, war, psychological angst, or social anxiety—and demonstrate defiance against such adversity.

Hey, Sakura-Con! We’re open late Friday, April 3 for you! Come see Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop from 10 am –​ 9pm!​​​​​​​​​ Peace Emoji Sparkle Emoji ​​

Mr. in his studio

Mr. in His Studio. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli; Artwork ©Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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There are very few animesque works in contemporary art. i would like to see more people who are adept in the anime style begin working in the genre of ‘art.’ 

Mr.

Three Best Friends

Three Best Friends, 2010, Mr., (born Masakatsu Iwamoto) Japanese, b. 1969, acrylic on canvas, 102 3/4 × 183 1/16 in. (in five panels), Courtesy Galerie Perrotin. © 2010 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Yokohama Baby

Yokohama Baby, 2013, Mr., (born Masakatsu Iwamoto) Japanese, b. 1969, watercolor and pencil on paper, 20 1/2 × 17 5/8 × 1 3/16 in., Courtesy Galerie Perrotin, © 2013 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., All Rights Reserved.

I defin​itely see no point in mimicking the style of western artists. Instead, I choose my Asian, Japanese, capitalist, born-after-the-war, every-day self as my starting point. 

Mr.

Metamorphosis: Give Me Your Wings, 2012, MR. Japanese, b. 1969, installation view, Lehmann Maupin, New York, 2012, Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong, © 2012 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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Stationed at the Convenience Store, 2013, Mr., (born Masakatsu Iwamoto) Japanese, b. 1969, acrylic on canvas, 59 1/16 × 118 1/8 in., Courtesy Lehmann Maupin, New York, © 2013 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., All Rights Reserved.

We're Off to the Outskirts of Hope

We're Off to the Outskirts of Hope, 2014, Mr., (born Masakatsu Iwamo​to) Japanese, b. 1969, acrylic, watercolor and pen on paper, 15.94 x 12.28 in., Courtesy Lehmann Maupin, New York, © 2014 Mr./Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., All Rights Reserved.

Nobody Dies

Team Rabbit, 2008, MR. Japanese, b. 1969, c-print mounted on aluminum, 37 3/8 × 50 11/16 in., Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong, © 2008 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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