Born in 1962, Murakami majored in Nihonga painting at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, but became disillusioned with the ideas of ‘high’ art. He started to explore genres from Japanese popular culture such as anime, otaku and manga, making a name for himself as a sculptor during the early 1990s. In 1996, he founded the Hiropon Factory in Japan, which eventually became the art business Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.
In 2000, the artist created the ‘superflat’ series, derived from a synthesis of bright comic graphics and traditional Japanese painting. The vivid colours and glossy two dimensional motifs of this style highlight the conflict between eastern and western art and culture. Having collaborated with designers such as Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, Murakami’s work continues to develop into its own brand, crossing the strict boundaries between merchandise and fine art.
Murakami currently lives and works in Tokyo and New York.