Kaikai Kiki Co was founded by Takashi Murakami in 2001. It evolved from its predecessor, the Hiropon Factory, which was founded in 1996. Find out what it's about after the jump.
The goals of Kaikai Kiki Co. include the production and promotion of artwork, the management and support of select young artists, general management of events and projects, and the production and promotion of merchandise. The company employs roughly 50 people in its Tokyo headquarters and 20 people in its New York office and studio.
Besides Takashi Murakami, Kaikai Kiki represents selected young artists including: Mr., Aya Takano, Chinatsu Ban, Mahomi Kunikata, and Rei Sato. Let’s meet a couple of them.
Murakami’s paintings, sculptures, and balloons are often colorful references to cartoon characters. He portrays “Japanese-ness” to question the lines between East and West, past and present, high art and popular culture.
Mr. began as the protégé of Takashi Murakami and has worked as an artist for over eight years. His work, Japanese in its anime-inspiration, ranges from drawings and paintings to large sculpture. He often portrays large-eyed characters in a sexual context.
Takano is prolific as a manga artist, illustrator, and science fiction essayist. Her work is the exemplification of Japan’s post-war cultural affluence. Takano’s worlds are shiny and futuristic, yet soft and full of traditional and sensual imagery.
Ban’s work features elephants and human figures floating against Japanese paper backgrounds or in front of candy-colored stripes. Ban’s characters are frequently shown wearing underpants or tights or sprouting cactus plants from their heads.
Drawing from manga, but also from Impressionism and abstract painting, Sato is daring and bold in her use of color. Her compositions are fresh, full of energy, and of course, unique.
All images were taken from Kaikaikiki.co.jp.