Bodhidharma (by unknown artist)

 

PRESS RELEASE

The exhibition has been extended until 28 November to include new works just received.  

editions limited

A new selection of portraits (downstairs) and other works (upstairs) by Takashi Murakami from the gallery collection 

20 October Ė 28 November 2009

34LONG FINE ART presents an exciting collection of new work by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at 34 Long Street, Cape Town, from 20 October to 28 November 2009. The exhibition, the most comprehensive to date of editioned works from the galleryís collection, will cover both floors.

The exhibition consists of six large portraits of Bodhidharma, the mythical founder of Zen Buddhism, known as Daruma in Japan. Daruma was a fifth or sixth century AD Indian sage. According to legend, he attained enlightenment by sitting in meditation at a Chinese monastery wall for nine years without blinking his eyes. His arms and legs atrophied, withered and fell off. Legend also credits Daruma with cutting off his eyelids in anger after dozing off during meditation. His eyelids fell to the ground and sprouted into China's first green tea plants. 

Over the centuries, countless portraits of Daruma have been produced by Japanese masters. Takashi Murakamiís fierce-looking Daruma extends this classic tradition into contemporary Pop. The exhibition will include several renditions of the portrait, some signed in the traditional Japanese manner with Japanese characters down one side, each with a magnificently unique background. Exaggerated, almost caricatured facial features are the focal points of Murakami's renditions. The ancient, canonical image of Daruma has traversed time and continents: the master's stern expression, his weighty eyelids, bulging eyeballs and grimacing lips are instantly recognizable in Murakami's interpretation.

The original paintings of this series were seen as a new direction in Murakami's career when they were first shown at the Gagosian Gallery, New York, in June 2007.

The highlight of 34 Longís exhibition will be a screening of Takashiís first full length animation movie, Episode 1 - Planting the Seeds, which had its primiere at MOCA, Los Angeles, in 2008. The documentary, Takashi Murakami 1996-2002, will also be screened. This movie gives insight into the life and work of the artist and the KaiKai KiKi Co., Ltd, his Tokyo factory where most of his ideas originate. 

The upstairs section of the exhibition will consist of six new editioned works on paper as well as two new sculptures from the Inochi series of figures just recently released by Takashi Murakami and KaiKai KiKi Co., Ltd, Japan. 

Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo, and received his BFA, MFA and PhD from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He founded the Hiropon factory in Tokyo in 1996, which later evolved into Kaikai Kiki Co., a large-scale art production and art management corporation. In addition to the production and marketing of Murakamiís work, Kaikai Kiki Co. functions as a supportive environment for the fostering of young Japanese artists. Murakami is also curator, entrepreneur, and critical observer of contemporary Japanese society. In 2000, he organized a ground-breaking exhibition of Japanese art entitled Superflat, connecting contemporary Japanese visual pop culture to historical Japanese art. He has continued this work in subsequent exhibitions such as Coloriage (Fondation Cartier pour líart Contemporain, Paris, 2002) and Little Boy: The Art of Japanís Exploding Subcultures (Japan Society, New York, 2005). 

34 Long Street    Cape Town    South Africa 
For more information contact Andries Loots:   tel. +27 82 354 1500    fineart@34long.com

Gallery hours Tuesday - Friday 10h00-17h00 Saturday 10h-14h00
or by appointment tel. +27 21 426 4594