Takashi Murakami submitted the following image to the New Day project on Twitter:
This image was created in 2005 for the show “Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture,” curated by Murakami at the Japan Society in New York. It was used as a banner to advertise for the show. Below is a photograph of the banner, courtesy of MocoLoco.
The exhibition got its title from the code name for the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima, Japan by the United States Military at the end of World War II, resulting in a large mushroom cloud, two of which are depicted in this work. These references to radioactive fallout have again become relevant with the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. To read more about this click here.
The concept behind this piece is based on the idea of “Rangers” or superheroes that fly around to fight the destruction of the world. While the characters are kawaii (that means cute in Japanese) and appear to be positive and friendly with their large smiles, they simply float around, accomplishing little in the way of protecting the environment from the ominous mushroom clouds. They are completely unable to alter reality, and simply wear their indifferent, empty smiles, blissfully unaware of their failure . It is up to humans like us (not ‘Rangers’) to offer our support to Japan in these turbulent times.