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Friday, 20th November 2015
In Japan Entertainment News,

Japanese artist returns to homeland after 14 years for solo exhibition

Renowned artist, Takashi Murakami, has not had a solo exhibition in Japan for 14 years, but all that is about to change.

Takashi Murakami: 500 Arhats has opened at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, an institution he has personal connections with.

He told the Japan Times: “Actually, I didn’t want to do this show, but I had a relationship with the late Minoru Mori, the founder of the Mori Art Museum, his family and the current president, Shingo Tsuji. So when they said they really wanted me to do the show, I decided to do it.”

During Murakami’s hiatus from Japan his style and themes have changed tremendously, partly to do with international events and things that have occurred in his own country.

He explained that until the global financial crisis he was focusing on the relationship between capitalism and art, but the 2011 earthquake and tsunami helped to change all that.

The controversial artist said that the natural disaster showed him how people need stories that differ from reality in order to cope with modern life.

He said: “For example, people might tell a child who lost his parents in the disaster, ‘Oh, your parents have become stars.’ That’s obviously not the truth, but it’s something we have to rely on to keep living.”

After making these realisations, Murakami started to create pieces that explored the relationship between art and religion.

This is how he arrived at the concept for his new exhibition – The 500 Arhats. This 100-metre long collection depicts 500 of the Buddha’s enlightened disciples.

It was inspired by a historical piece called Five Hundred Arhats, which the artist Kano Kazunobu, who lived between 1816 and 1855, was painting when an earthquake hit in 1855.

Murakami created his own work in the aftermath of the 2011 quake. It will be on display until March 6th 2016.