Takashi MurakamiI have not heard much about Takashi Murakami’s work before, but as I grew up in Hong Kong where Japanese cartoons are shown daily on TV and Japanese manga is pretty much part of people’s life, I am not a stranger to Japanese sexual fantasy, especially how women are usually portrayed as figures that have big breasts, short body and super long legs. Takashi Murakami has ’embraced’ this part of Japanese culture by making two 3 metre high sculptures of what would have been palm size dolls. You can check them out in the Gagosian Gallery, which held an amazing light exhibition of James Turrell earlier this year.

There is also a 2 metre high golden penis standing alongside an equally tall silver vagina. Both have a smiley face on top.

A series of paintings of naked women were on display on one side of the wall. They have been mounted in such a way that your eye level lines up with the level of their genital areas.


Most of the work seem too be literally IN-YOUR-FACE. The sculptures are well-made, just like their small palm size toy versions. I think those who are a fan of Jeff Koons would probably like Takashi Murakami’s work too.

It put a smile on my face for a split second, but nothing more than that.

On the day I went, I was the only visitor in the gallery. Seeing 4 security guards in black suits with white shirt, standing in pairs among the 2 three metre tall plastic women with big breasts and the golden and silver penis/ vagina, looking strangely awkward and out-of-place, I found watching them more entertaining than looking at the work itself.

Btw, he has also worked with Kirsten Dunst to create the video below- Turning Japanese. It is like a MTV on Japanese TV! But why Kirsten Dunst?

~1st and 3rd photos by Mike Bruce and 2nd photo by Muir Vidler fom the Gagosian Gallery.
Gagosian Gallery
Exhibition till 5th August, 2011
6-24 Britainna Street, London, WC1X 9JD
Tel: 0207 841 9960