Takashi Murakami on Kawaii

Teenagers and young adults in this country are embracing Japanese art and pop culture like never before. An exhibition at the Japan Society in New York has filled the museum with colorful toys, strange dolls and paintings of schoolgirls. It’s all very cute, but it doesn’t take long to sense some dark undercurrents below all the playfulness. The exhibit was curated by Takashi Murakami, the successful artist, designer and Andy-Warhol-like impresario of hip Japanese culture. Duke cultural anthropologist Anne Allison and NYU East Asian Studies Professor Thomas Looser shed some light. [Produced for PRI‘s “Studio 360“.]

Takashi Murakami, "Putipanda" for Louis Vuitton.

Takashi Murakami, “Putipanda” for Louis Vuitton.

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