Takashi Murakami : GYATEI². Gagosian. Los Angeles. Photos by EMS

I feel like people tend to look at a painting and think, “OK, one artist paints a painting.” As if the condition remains the same ten years ago, three years ago, and now. But . . . the way I create the work constantly evolves. Especially in the past few years, we’ve been able to use a lot of the 3-D modeling programs, so the way I can grasp and understand forms has drastically changed and evolved. . . . Artistic expression really has to do with technique, and how you can actually realize ideas.
—Takashi Murakami

Gagosian is pleased to present GYATEI², new works by Takashi Murakami, as the 2019 “Oscars show,” a much-anticipated annual fixture on the Los Angeles cultural calendar.

Drawing from traditional Japanese painting, sci-fi, anime, and pop culture, Murakami’s oeuvre comprises paintings, sculptures, films, and a stream of commercial products populated by mutating characters of his own creation. His iconoclastic individualism continues the nonconformist legacy of the Edo Eccentrics, a group of eighteenth-century Japanese artists who constructed a powerfully imaginative world filled with bizarre and emotive imagery.

The exhibition title comes from the Buddhist Hannya Shingyo (Heart Sutra), a popular sutra in Mahayana Buddhism. The incantation is often chanted by Zen groups before or after a meditation. At the conclusion of the sutra, the Avalokiteshvara, a popular and recognizable bodhisattva, turns and recites a mysterious mantra to one of the disciples. The mantra is often roughly translated as “gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond, enlightenment, svāhā.” This articulation has been diversely interpreted as a call to “go” attain enlightenment, as the cry of a baby reborn into an eternal true world, and as a curse.

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson