Chasing the Eccentrics: Takashi Murakami in Conversation with Etsuko Price about Edo-period Painting, Creativity, and Collecting
Presented in conjunction with The Broad’s special exhibition Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, on view May 21–September 25, 2022, this conversation with Etsuko Price—who with her husband Joe, amassed an unparalleled collection of traditional Japanese art focused on the Edo-period—and artist Takashi Murakami will explore how traditional Japanese painting has influenced and inspired Murakami’s creative practice. This dialogue, moderated by Yuko Kaifu, President of JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, will also offer a window into the long-held friendship Murakami and Mrs. and Mr. Price have developed over their passion for traditional Japanese art.
Among the Price family and Murakami’s many shared passions are painters labeled as “eccentrics” by the art historian Nobou Tsuji in his 1970 book Lineage of Eccentrics. Artists such as Itō Jakuchū, 1716–1800, Nagasawa Rosetsu, 1754–99, and Soga Shōhaku, Japan, 1730–81, inspired both the Price’s collecting and Murakami’s art practice. In 2009, Murakami and Tsuji began a creative dialogue centered on the eccentrics. This collaboration led to an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 2017, for which Murakami and Tsuji selected Japanese works from the museum’s collection and showed them alongside works by Murakami. Many of the artists in the exhibition figure prominently in the Price collection.
The conversation (in both Japanese and English) will be held in the JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles 5th floor salon from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and includes an audience Q&A. It will be followed by a reception with drinks and appetizers.
The program was livestreamed on the JAPAN HOUSE LA and The Broad websites, as well as on respective Facebook pages @TheBroadMuseum and @JapanHouseLA.
Space is limited. Reservations are required.
Tickets include access to the special exhibitions Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow and This Is Not America’s Flag and the third floor galleries until June 30, during operating hours. Access to Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away (2013) is not included and must be booked separately here. Please present your Chasing the Eccentrics event ticket at the main entrance of The Broad.
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Drawing from traditional Japanese painting, sci-fi, anime, and the global art market, Takashi Murakami creates paintings, sculptures, and films populated by repeated motifs and mutating characters of his own creation embodying an intersection of pop culture, history, and fine art. In 2000, Murakami curated Superflat, an exhibition that advanced his Superflat theory of art, highlighting the “flatness” of Japanese visual culture from traditional painting to contemporary subcultures in the context of World War II and its aftermath. Following the Tōhoku earthquake of 2011 and the subsequent nuclear crisis at Fukushima, Murakami began exploring the impact of natural disasters on Japanese art and culture. His 2014 Gagosian exhibition in New York, In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, featured an immersive installation of Buddhist arhats; clones of his fictional creature Mr. DOB; and karajishi, the mythic lions that guard Japanese Buddhist temples. Murakami earned a BA, MFA, and PhD from Tokyo University of the Arts, where he studied nihonga (traditional Japanese painting). In 1996, he established the Hiropon Factory, a studio/workshop that in subsequent years grew into an art production and artist management company, now known as Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd.
Etsuko Price was born in Fukuchiyama City in Kyoto and was brought up in Tottori Prefecture of Japan. She moved to the U.S. in 1965 and married Joe Price in 1966. Since then, Joe and Etsuko Price built up a collection of Japanese art centering on Edo-period works by Ito Jakuchu, Maruyama Ohkyo, and others. They established the Shin’enKan Foundation in 1980 to publicly show their collection and support research. From 1984 to 1986, Etsuko studied art history under Professor Tadashi Kobayashi at Gakushuin University. The Prices moved to Los Angeles in 1986 and played a central role in the establishment of the Pavilion for Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1988, where they have placed part of their collection. Their efforts have helped draw new attention to the field of Japanese art in Edo-period. The Prices have actively worked to promote U.S.-Japan cultural exchange and to support researchers. In 2006, an exhibition of over 109 works from the Price Collection was held at the Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Modern Art of Kyoto, Kyushu National Museum, and Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art. In 2013, another major exhibition was held in Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima, as part of their efforts to support the Tōhoku region devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
Yuko Kaifu is the President of JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. She started her career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Her previous assignments include the Embassy of Japan in Canada and various departments at Ministry’s headquarters in Tokyo. During her service in Tokyo, she was appointed official interpreter for dignitaries including Her Majesty the Empress, Foreign Minister, and Prime Minister of Japan. In 2001, she was appointed a Consul at the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles. In 2007, she left the government to work at the Japanese American National Museum as the Vice President, and then at MUFG Union Bank as a Managing Director of Corporate Communications from 2009 to 2016. She joined Japan House Los Angeles in January 2016 to start up the organization. She serves on the boards of the US-Japan Council, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and the advisory board of UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies. She graduated from Nara Women’s University and received M.A. in Sociology from Queen’s University in Canada.
JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs–London, Los Angeles, and Sao Paulo–conceived by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding of Japan in the international community. Occupying two floors at Ovation Hollywood (formerly Hollywood & Highland), JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs. www.japanhousela.com