Smiling flowers and vibrant colours. Seems too innocent and commercial for any deeper meaning? Takahashi Murakami, a Japanese pop art artist, stands as one of the most influential contemporary grand masters of art. His latest Flowers and Skulls exhibition in Hong Kong Gagosian Gallery continues his utopia/ dystopia theme of the contemporary world.
His art ironically reflects an honest situation of our contemporary world – an over abundance of images and colours to actively feed us with desire has in turn infantilized our senses to purely passive recipients. In short, we are impotent because of an abundance of exhausting desire.
Looking closely up to the happy flowers we see their eyes painted in colourful saturated colours – as if they are high on drugs!
His latest works added on a new element that heightens the sense of crazed glamour – glitters!
Japan has an interesting city culture. Its rapid development started since the end of the Second World War where they viewed the Hiroshima bombing as the starting point of America’s invasion in Japan’s culture, a commercialization that pushes them towards an intense and quick phase of fake glory and decadence. Viewing this intense and rapid developing culture, we might even be inspired to predict and reflect on our own city, Hong Kong’s culture, which seems to be running on the same path of cheerful decadence with our abundance of commodities.