Takashi Murakami’s 500 Arhats at Mori Art Museum

By Chanyn Kirtman
December 16, 2015
Art & Culture

The Mori Art Museum (MAM) is known to host works by some of the world’s most noteworthy artists, and the current exhibition is nothing less than extraordinary. For the first time since 2001, Takashi Murakami is showing his contemporary pieces here in Japan. You may be familiar with the cute cartoon-like images around Roppongi Hills or with Murakami's famed Mr. Dob character, but after visiting the MAM exhibit you will likely start to see his aesthetic in art as well as fashion all around the city.

IMG_2577 cropped

As one of the world’s most significant contemporary artists today, Murakami has created quite the buzz for himself in Western culture. Collaborating with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and designing Kanye West’s album covers have further solidified his popularity outside of Japan. Often compared to Andy Warhol, Murakami has coined his artistic style as “superflat,” a method of fusing anime style designs with post-war traditional imagery and scenes. IMG_2624 cropped

The current MAM exhibit is hosting a range of Murakami’s most recent pieces, including many large-scale works. The centerpiece of it all is The 500 Arhats. The 100-meter-long, three-meter-high painting is one of the longest pieces of art in global history and was created as a token of appreciation to the nation of Qatar for its prompt assistance following the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. Extravagant sculptures and abstract pieces accompany the massive piece, creating a very stimulating and high sensory experience until the end. Murakami’s intention with the exhibit is to analyze the relationship between art and religion and their collaborative impact on today’s human morality.IMG_2589 cropped

Because of its sheer scale, The 500 Arhats is not likely to be shown in many exhibits following the current one. So if you are running low on date night ideas, we suggest hitting up MAM, checking out the Tokyo City View before or after, and indulging in a little holiday spirit throughout Roppongi Hills. The Christmas Village is full of cheer and galaxy lane is a spectacle in itself. Happy hour, an art exhibit and some festive fun sounds like a fail-proof evening!

The Deets

When: Now through March 6, 2016; Wed–Mon, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Tue, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (admission until 30 minutes prior to closing)

Where: Mori Art Museum, 53F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

How much: ¥1,600 per adult; ¥1,100 per university or high school student; ¥600 per child aged four to junior high school students

Tel: 03-5777-8600