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[Exclusive Video] Enter Takashi Murakami's World of Anime Scrolls and Otaku Demons

Here's an inside look at 'In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow,' Murakami's ongoing exhibition at Gagosian New York.
December 29, 2014, 5:00pm

A 56-ton Japanese sacred gate made of stone and wood stands at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. This is the entrance to Takashi Murakami’s latest exhibition, a world of paintings and sculptures that merge traditional Japanese art with pop, animé, and otaku culture. Known as In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, the new body of work revives scroll paintings, totemic sculptures, religious iconography, and art produced in response to natural disasters in Murakami's signature sharp, colorful aesthetic.

“I tried to portray contemporary society using these traditional methods. I’m exploring the reality of the origins of religion and art through, or by borrowing, the forms I have established over time,” says Murakami in the exclusive behind-the-scenes video from the Gagosian, viewable above.

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The exhibition is one of the most important in his career, which is why he wanted to share it in video-form. “We delve slowly and deeply into the works, allowing even those who can’t visit the show to experience and contemplate each piece,” Murakami explained to The Creators Project. Below, check out a selection of works from In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow:

Takashi Murakami, Invoking the Vitality of a Universe Beyond Imagination, 2014. Mixed media. 32 5/16 x 78 3/4 x 37 inches (82 x 200 x 94 cm) © 2014 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Takashi Murakami, Isle of the Dead, 2014. Acrylic, gold leaf, and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on wood panel. 141 3/4 x 189 inches (360 x 480 cm) © 2014 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Takashi Murakami: In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, Installation view © 2014 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo by Rob McKeever

Takashi Murakami, Tan Tan Bo—In Communication, 2014. Acrylic, gold leaf, and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on wood panel. 141 3/4 x 141 3/4 inches (360 x 360 cm) © 2014 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow will be on display at Gagosian New York through January 17, 2015. Click here to learn more.

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