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Maker(s):Murakami, Takashi
Culture:Japanese (1962- )
Title:Jellyfish Eyes-White 4
Date Made:2006
Materials:color offset lithograph, edition 95/300
Measurements:19.75 x 19.75
Accession Number:  AC 2013.58
Credit Line:Purchase with William K. Allison (Class of 1920) Memorial Fund
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
These bulging eyes are one of the hallmarks of Murakami’s “Superflat” aesthetic and are a conscious reference to Japanese anime, especially the phenomenon of mukokuseki—literally, “stateless”—features. Eyes have traditionally served as the basis for the stereotypical racial identification of East Asian peoples. These cartoon physiognomies, however, though truly exaggerations of European features, are distinctly and uniquely associated with contemporary Japan. In other works, Murakami juxtaposes these eyes with Louis Vuitton logos, another foreign symbol that has come to define contemporary Japan, the nation that by itself accounts for over one-third of the brand’s total global sales. By removing these images from all contexts—corporeal, geographical, or otherwise—Murakami illustrates how modern identities are composed through the circulation and permutation of symbols, often irrespective of their original referents and meanings.

BB, 2014

abstract; conceptual art; eye

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