The Takashi Murakami: The 500 Arhats exhibit at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills is colourful, active and very thought provoking. My three-year-old and tween were delighted with each painting and sculpture. Although some people have stated the exhibit is interestedly grotesque, my children saw God, jellyfish, flowers and bubbles throughout the entire exhibit. The exhibit has a very deep story of human survival, prayer and life turmoil that adults will relate. Your children will enjoy the color, action and funny pictures. A moving and winning exhibit to visit this cold winter.
Takashi Murakami: The 500 Arhat
My kids asked me “What is an arhat?”. As the exhibit explains and shows in Murakami’s paintings, an arhat is a perfected person, one who has attained nirvana, or one who is far along the path of enlightenment in Buddhism. The ultimate goal of an arhat is to reach Buddhahood. An easier to understand comparison for older kids will be that arhats are Buddhist equivalents of the Christian saints or apostles.
Murakami began his career with the design to be a manga artist but in art school pursued Nihonga (Japanese painting). He is one of the most well-known Japanese artist overseas introducing contemporary/pop art to the general public in large venues such as NYC Grand Central Station and Versailles. His exhibits have been few in Japan compared to overseas which makes this show even more moving. The 500 Arhats was created by Murakami following the 2011 Great Eat Earthquake. The curators of the Mori Art Museum explain that the “The Japan premiere of Murakami’s The 500 Arhats highlights the power of prayer that transcends religious differences in a dynamic vision of the intersection of finite life and the infinite nature and universe. It allows us to understand Murakami’s new artistic interests and directions. This exhibition at the Mori Art Museum, through the showing of Murakami’s magnum opus and other recent works, will offer an opportunity to examine the role of art and religion in facing social turmoil and human mortality. It will also allow us to approach Murakami’s profound exploration of the power of art to illuminate our understanding of the human condition and the realities of the world we live in.”
Takashi Murakami: The 500 Arhats Exhibit Details
Address: Mori Art Museum, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Dates and Times: October 31, 2015 – March 6, 2016; Daily 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Tuesday closes at 17:00)
Cost: Adults 1,600 yen, College and High school 1,100 yen, 4-12 years 600 yen, under 4 free
Mori Art Museum Website: http://www.mori.art.museum/eng/
Takahashi Murakami Exhibit website: http://www.mori.art.museum/contents/tm500/
Takashi Murakami: The 500 Arhats
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