Friday, March 12, 2010

Takashi Murakami : Turning Japanese


The latest work from Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami is a bizarre music video featuring Kirsten Dunst performing "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors. The actress is costumed in a brightly colored, anime-inspired outfit complete with electric blue wig. As she performs the song in the busy Akihabara district of Tokyo, she's surrounded by, you know, actual Japanese who look on curiously.

The video was directed by American filmmaker and music video director McG, whose feature credits include the two Charlie's Angels movies and Terminator: Salvation. He may not have the art world cachet that Murakami does, but he's a pop artist in his own right, filling each frame with larger-than-life images.

The internet has been all "WTF?" about the clip, but as it turns out it was part of an art exhibit last year at the Tate Modern, "Pop Life: Art in a Material World." This installation, titled "Akihabara Majokko Princess," was meant to illustrate Murakami's belief that "real art is centered in entertainment."

Well, it's certainly entertaining. And by Murakami's dictum, that should make it art, right?

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