Monday, April 11, 2005

fiberglass unchi and elephant underwear

listmaker and i took advantage of the beautiful weather on saturday to brave the borough of manhattan. we set out in search of elephant underwear, a new public sculpture from the godfather of the superflat movement, takashi murakami. while murakami may be credited for the overall concept of elephant underwear, the trio of art was actually created by one of his artists, chinatsu ban.

we weren't surprised to see that one of the elephants had already been defaced by someone trying to make a political statement about iraq. listmaker took pictures and i'm sure he'll put them up soon. i couldn't stop laughing at this one little boy who sat atop unchi and threw a crying fit as he refused to get off it. after a few more minutes we headed over to the japan society, where a murakami curated exhibit called "little boy" was taking place.

you're greeted by a small wall of pachinko machines when you enter the japan society. the clanging of hundreds of tiny metal balls is an odd contrast to the overall serenity of the room. the exhibit was on the second floor and was on the small side. although time out new york had listed "little boy" as costing $5, it turned out to be a $12 entry fee for a collection that took us all but 30 minutes to check out. it certainly makes the moma's admission fee of $20 seem like a bargain! there were some great pieces though - like a trio of yoshitomo nara scuptures and display of old advertising toys from the collection of the renowned teruhisa kitahara. perhaps one day my meager collection will rival his.

there were also two great paintings from chinatsu ban, our favorite being "elephant underpants vs. apple half."


Blogger Chris Larry said...

Thanks for the review I plan on checking this out soon!

April 11, 2005 11:17 AM  
Blogger mas said...

Hadn't heard about this - sounds cool

April 12, 2005 3:16 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Frequent triviagoers know that "Little Boy" was the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Did they mention this in the show? What is the deal?

April 22, 2005 3:50 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

definitely intentional, allegorical usage. check out the description from the japan society: "the exhibition's title, Little Boy, refers to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, clearly locating the birth of these new cultural forms in the trauma and generational aftershock. In Murakami's perspective, a resonant figure for Japan's contemporary condition is that of the "little boy"--both the nickname for the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and an image of Japan's infantalized culture. "

April 22, 2005 4:01 PM  

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