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6 works by Takashi Murakami you need to see at the Vancouver Art Gallery

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Daily Hive Custom Content Feb 14, 2018 2:08 pm 2,698

Art fan or not, there’s an exhibit in Vancouver right now that’s quite unlike anything you’ve ever seen before: Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg

It’s the first ever major retrospective of international art icon Takashi Murakami to be shown in Canada, featuring more than 55 works spanning three decades. And if you want to escape the reality of everyday life, we suggest that you visit the exhibit before it closes on May 6.

Taking over the rotunda and the second floor of the Gallery, the show takes you on a journey with the artist, from his earliest work to his most recently bright and bold pieces, including a five-metre-tall sculpture and three multi-panel paintings which were created specially for this Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition.

There are no limits to what Murakami can do, from candy-coloured bright floral paintings using platinum leaf on canvas, to works crafted with gold leaf, and sculptures made with stainless steel, zelkova wood, and acrylic. At the Gallery, you’ll see everything from minimalistic works to a sculpted ‘Kayne Bear’, and brightly coloured mushrooms.

So to help inspire your visit to this monumental exhibit, we’ve rounded up six pieces of art that you need to see.

Takashi Murakami, Waterfall Appears in the Ocean! In Its Midst, Kraken!, 2018, acrylic, gold leaf andplatinum leaf on canvas mounted on wood panel, © 2018 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. AllRights Reserved, Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art

Installation view of 69 Arhats Beneath the Bodhi Tree, 2013 (left), Embodiment of “Um”, 2014
(centre) and Embodiment of “A”, 2014 (right) in Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg,
Vancouver Art Gallery, February 3 to May 6, 2018, © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All
Rights Reserved, Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery

Installation view of Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, February 3 to May 6, 2018, with Tan Tan Bo Puking—a.k.a. Gero Tan, 2002 (left), DOB in The Strange Forest (Blue DOB), 1999 (centre), and works from Tan Tan Bo series, 2018 (right), © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved, Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery

Installation view of Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, exhibition at the Vancouver Art
Gallery, February 3 to May 6, 2018, with Embodiment of “Um”, 2014 (detail) and The Octopus Eats
Its Own Leg, 2017, © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved, Photo: Rachel
Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery

Installation view of Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, exhibition at the Vancouver Art
Gallery, February 3 to May 6, 2018, with Tan Tan Bo Puking—a.k.a. Gero Tan, 2002 (left), DOB in The
Strange Forest (Blue DOB), 1999 (centre), and works from Tan Tan Bo series, 2018 (right), ©
Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved, Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art
Gallery

The artwork above, titled Tragicomedy of a Painter Living Day In and Day Out in His Studio Haunted By Deadlines, is a new work from 2018, made specifically for the exhibition in Vancouver. Diana Freundl, Associate Curator of Asian Art at the Vancouver Art Gallery, notes that this piece displays a photo of the artist taken in his studio in Japan, and behind him are two paintings, the same as the two you’ll see at the Gallery, located next to this “confession” painting.

“Takashi Murakami refers to this work as an ‘excuse painting.'” His inscription describes the situation that he consistently finds himself in – under the pressure of deadlines in the midst of multiple projects of immense scope and scale. You’ll see two unfinished paintings, viewed as works in process. Following the exhibition, they will return to the Tokyo studio where they will be completed,” Freundl told Daily Hive.

A section of Murakami’s note reads: “I am writing these sentences to express my apology because I wasn’t able to complete my paintings. My apology is addressed to you, the viewers who are visiting the Vancouver Art Gallery and are looking at this painting right now. I am truly sorry for exhibiting unfinished works. I have to also confess that this is not the first time I am exposing my work uncompleted to the museum audience. In fact, I’m a repeat offender….” But you’ll have to visit the Gallery to read the rest!

Tickets to visit Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg are on sale now via Vancouver Art Gallery.

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg

When: Now until May 6, 2018
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery – 750 Hornby Street
Price: Range from $6.50 to $24.00 (including tax) – Tickets available via Vancouver Art Gallery


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