Life in Cartoon Motion: Murakami at MOCA

There’s a little over a month left to see the Takashi Murakami retrospective at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles before it closes on February 11th and heads east for a spring gig at New York’s Brooklyn Museum. When we asked Murakami how he would describe his work to someone who had never seen it before, he replied, “It’s seemingly easy to understand. It’s seemingly fun. It’s seemingly very Japanese. I also have some animations.”

And while the in-museum Louis Vuitton shop (not to mention tales of pilfered chargers at the Kanye West-headlined opening gala) has garnered a lot of buzz, it’s the artist’s first major animated film, kaikai & kiki, that Murakami and MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel single out as one of the most challenging and labor-intensive aspects of preparing the retrospective. The film depicts Murakami’s ultra-cute kaikai and kiki characters on a mission to investigate an underground power source inside a world controlled by artifical intelligence (even in the face of dystopia, they retain their wide-eyed exuberance). The first installment premiered at MOCA and new installments of the film will debut at each of the show’s venues (next stop Brooklyn, followed by the Museum fur Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, then onto the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao). Here’s a peek at the film, courtesy of our friends at Ovation TV: