©Murakami Exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Los Angeles Travel Blog

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Exhibit Duration:  October 29, 2007 through February 11, 2008

I went to the Geffen Contemporary with my mom and my cousin after seeing banners posted all around town about the Murakami exhibit.  After having our fill of dim sum in Chinatown, we needed to “walk it off”!  Luckily, the Murakami exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary was open today, Sunday. 

Takeshi Murakami was trained in traditional Japanese art but his pieces are strongly influenced by anime (Japanese animation) and manga (Japanese graphic comics). 

Takeshi Murakami’s exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary is a smorgasbord of mixed media pieces including sculptures, paintings, logos on various commercial merchandise (even logos on Louis Vuitton handbags), shokugan (which are toys found inside candy boxes), and animation.

  Since photography was not allowed for this exhibit, I will try to describe or provide links to some of the notable and interesting pieces. 

The exhibition starts off with Murakami’s most popular works, fiberglass sculptures called “Hiropan” and “My Lonesome Cowboy”.  These to pieces are very graphic…know wonder the museum posted a sign informing exhibit-goers of its adult content.  



Murakami’s “Reverse Double Helix” was a colorful, whimsical, and playful installation art piece that to me looked like an indoor playground with sculpted arms waiting to be climbed on and hung from.



Murakami also debuts his sculpture called “Oval Buddha” which seems to tower at about 20 feet.  Luckily the Geffen Contemporary can accommodate such height. 

Located on the mezzanine level of the gallery is a fully operational Louis Vuitton boutique selling of displaying and of course selling items with cute Murakami logos (bags costing from $400 to $600)!

One of my favorite art pieces was animated film “kaikai and kiki”.  The episode we watched was part one of a three part installment.  Part two will be added in mid-December while part three will premiere in January.

  I will definitely come back to watch the rest of the animated film! 

Another favorite piece of mine is “Second Mission Project ko2”.  It is a three part sculpture series of a female cyborg morphing into a jet airplane.  It reminded me of when I was a child watching “Robotech” and the “Transformers” cartoons.  

Overall, I enjoyed the Murakami exhibit.  Many of his pieces are considered surrealistic using all colors in the rainbow.  But to me, his animated characters and art pieces can be summed up in one word:  FUN!

General Admission: $8
Students with I.D.: $5
Seniors (65+): $5
Children under 12: Free
MOCA Members: Free


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The Japanese Village Plaza was developed in the early 1980s to stimulate economic growth in downtown Los Angeles.  Bordered by First Street and Second Street to the North and South, respectively and by Central Avenue and San Pedro Street, to the East and West, respectively, the Japanese Village Plaza is the heart of Little Tokyo, or J-town.  This outdoor mall as well as the neighborhood offers visitors and locals alike a chance to experience Japanese culture.  


From the First Street entrance, plaza patrons are welcomed by a red, wooden gateway tower.  Hanging out in the plaza is like an escape from downtown…many of the store fronts are adorned with Japanese architectural features and there are paper lanterns hanging above.  The Japanese Village Plaza offers several Japanese and Asian dining options, numerous shops selling anything from kimonos to fashionable handbags, a bakery, and a store selling mochi ice cream, a Japanese confection made from sticky rice and filled with ice cream.  There is even a Nijiya Market where you can buy organic produce and Japanese food products like dried shiitake mushrooms and sweet and salty rice crackers.  


Across from the Japanese Village Plaza on First Street are the Japanese American National Museum and the Geffen Contemporary

Mom and I in front of the mural on…
Mom and I in front of the mural o…
My mom and my cousin Donna
My mom and my cousin Donna
Japanese Village Plaza Gateway Tow…
Japanese Village Plaza Gateway To…
Water fountain without water...hmm…
Water fountain without water...hm…
The plaza
The plaza
A great place to relax and hang out
A great place to relax and hang out
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