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NEWS: Las Vegas Film Fest to Screen Murakami Anime on Monday




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Josh7289



Joined: 27 Aug 2005
Posts: 1252
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:42 pm Reply with quote
I do not understand what "superflat" is. I've tried, but I don't see anything peculiar about so called "superflat" art.
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nobinobita



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:03 am Reply with quote
Josh7289 wrote:
I do not understand what "superflat" is. I've tried, but I don't see anything peculiar about so called "superflat" art.


Superflat is an art movement started by Takashi Murakami many years ago (they've already had their last official show).

The term super flat refers to the execution of the work, as well as its intentions. Superflat was basically about taking Japanese artists who were emblematic of very modern Japanese sensibilities and showcasing them to the world. The artists selected ranged from fine artists to model kit sculptors (bome) to videogames (they had a Street Fighter Alpha 3 cabinet at a show before) to cels from anime.

The term superflat refers to the consciously flat quality of the work. Murakami's work heavily recalls both anime (with its flat, clearly seperated colors) and traditional Chinese and Japense painting, with its stylized forced perspectives. Asian artists have long embraced the canvas as a flat space.

The term superflat also refers to the values of the movement, tieing in modern Japanese sensibilities with classic East Asian art sensibilities. Murakami wants to consciously "flatten" the typical western definition of art. Where art is often seen as something exclusive, with popular media being "low" art and museum pieces being "high" art, the superflat movement aimed to bypass those distinctions.

The Superflat exhibits would present conventional gallery pieces such as modern paintings and ancient ukyo-e scrolls alongside toys and hentai doujinshii.

He points out that the modern Japanese connotation of art as something exclusive and exalted was something adopted from the west. Originally, the word referred to a craft or creation with no value judgement. He also points out that many ancient works of art were commercial in nature. For instance, religious institutions throughout time have commissioned magnificent works both to exalt their spiritual beliefs, and also to attract new believers.

If you can't already tell, I really really loved the superflat movement. I tend to agree with Murakami's point of view. But even beyond that, I really respect that he earnestly wanted to present modern Japanese popular art, that is things like Anime, Manga, videogames, as something valuable. He put those things into galleries with no irony. His own Anime influenced works are deeply personal explorations of the style and how they relate to his identity and culture. There's no sarcasm, no sense of superiority to his work. Other artists have built careers out of taking popular art and recreating it with irony and 'tude, or parodying it. Murakami really just presented what was happening in Japan as it really was. And I really really really respect that. His work is very sincere, and if there's anything that always wins me over with an artist, it's sincerity.

If you're intersted in the Superflat movement, there's lots of very good books on the subject. Of course, the best thing would be to catch a show if you can. Like i said before, the movement is already officially over, but you can still catch the artists individually all over the world. ANN recently posted details about Murakami's Brooklyn show (which I went to, and which was amazing--thanks for the heads up guys!). I hope they continue to post about any other shows from the Superflat artists.
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OtakuGoth



Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:37 pm Reply with quote
wow, so that's what superflat is. I guess there's different animation styles for people. Surprised
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Josh7289



Joined: 27 Aug 2005
Posts: 1252
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:04 pm Reply with quote
nobinobita, I really couldn't understand your explanation when I first read it back in June, but I've been taking (my first and only) art history course on the arts of East Asia this semester in college, and now I perfectly (or at least clearly) understand what the superflat movement is all about.

Honestly, when I first heard the term, I thought it was some perverted loli thing (superflat), and the Wikipedia article for superflat didn't help, either (I'm still not clear where the commentaries on otaku and lolicon are in superflat, but I've mostly only seen Takashi Murakami works, so...).

But now, after reading your explanation again and doing a bit of extra research on Murakami's views of art, I've come to respect the guy like you have. He's trying to disprove the notion that there are different classes or hierarchies of art, and that's commendable (and something I support and agree with).

And now I understand the true meaning of the actual term "superflat", as well, mostly because I understand East Asian art and art in general better because of my art history course.

Unfortunately the term still sounds kind of like some sort of lolicon thing to me, so it might take a while for that to go away in my mind, but I'm glad I have a better understanding of the whole movement now. Thanks.
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katzkatz



Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 5:11 pm Reply with quote
Josh7289 wrote:
nobinobita, I really couldn't understand your explanation when I first read it back in June, but I've been taking (my first and only) art history course on the arts of East Asia this semester in college, and now I perfectly (or at least clearly) understand what the superflat movement is all about.

But now, after reading your explanation again and doing a bit of extra research on Murakami's views of art, I've come to respect the guy like you have. He's trying to disprove the notion that there are different classes or hierarchies of art, and that's commendable (and something I support and agree with).

And now I understand the true meaning of the actual term "superflat", as well, mostly because I understand East Asian art and art in general better because of my art history course and staying at The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas.

Unfortunately the term still sounds kind of like some sort of lolicon thing to me, so it might take a while for that to go away in my mind, but I'm glad I have a better understanding of the whole movement now. Thanks.
New York New York Las Vegas MGM Hotel Las Vegas




It was pretty simple to understand for me.
I am just bummed that I missed the Film Fest in Vegas.
Dude, I love that place!!! Laughing


Last edited by katzkatz on Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Seasahm



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:45 am Reply with quote
Quote:
nobinobita, I really couldn't understand your explanation when I first read it back in June, but I've been taking (my first and only) art history course on the arts of East Asia this semester in college, and now I perfectly (or at least clearly) understand what the superflat movement is all about.

But now, after reading your explanation again and doing a bit of extra research on Murakami's views of art, I've come to respect the guy like you have. He's trying to disprove the notion that there are different classes or hierarchies of art, and that's commendable (and something I support and agree with).

And now I understand the true meaning of the actual term "superflat", as well, mostly because I understand East Asian art and art in general better because of my art history course and staying at Las Vegas Hilton.


Unfortunately the term still sounds kind of like some sort of lolicon thing to me, so it might take a while for that to go away in my mind, but I'm glad I have a better understanding of the whole movement now. Thanks.


Was lucky to be in Vegas that week and caught the Film Fest! Didn't know the background and history at the time.[url][/url]
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