Takashi Murakami “Kaikai Kiki”


“In Japanese we have this adjective, kikikaikai, which we use for strange things or phenomena, things that are frightening, disturbing or make us uneasy. But in this case, I was not referring directly to that expression but to another one which, although based on the same sounds, is written with different Chinese ideograms, kikikaikai. This term, that was used by an art critic in the late 16th Century… embraces several different notions: bravery and power, with all the seductiveness those traits may have and at the same time a keen sensitivity. This was the mixture of qualities that was considered elegant at the time, aesthetically speaking… And since I found the expression kikikaikai had a very attractive sound and because the names suited them, I baptized these two characters Kaikai and Kiki. With these three characters – Oval, Kaikai and Kiki – I wanted, I think, to create my own ‘gods of art.”
T. Murakami, quoted in Takashi Murakami Kaikai Kiki, exh. cat., Paris and London, 2002, p. 87



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