You read it here first. We are entering the age of Superflat. To mark the first major exhibition outside Japan of the sensibility / style originated by artist Takashi Murakami, a show at MOCA in Los Angeles opening on January 14th called Super Flat, we present a little taste of the bilingual book 'Superflat'. Here is the Superflat Manifesto.

The Super Flat Manifesto

The world of the future might be like Japan is today -- super flat.

Society, customs, art, culture: all are extremely two-dimensional. It is particularily apparent in the arts that this sensibility has been flowing steadily beneath the surface of Japanese history. Today, the sensibility is most present in Japanese games and anime, which have become powerful parts of world culture. One way to imagine super flatness is to think of the moment when, in creating a desktop graphic for your computer, you merge a number of distinct layers into one. Though it is not a terribly clear example, the feeling I get is a sense of reality that is very nearly a physical sensation. The reason that I have lined up both the high and the low of Japanese art in this book is to convey this feeling. I would like you, the reader, to experience the moment when the layers of Japanese culture, such as pop, erotic pop, otaku, and H.I.S.ism, fuse into one. [H.I.S. is a discount ticket agency in Japan. By lowering the price of travel abroad, the company is having a profound effect on the relationship between Japan and the West.]

Where is our reality?

This book hopes to reconsider 'super flatness', the sensibility that has contributed to and continues to contribute to the construction of Japanese culture as a worldview, and show that it is an original concept that links the past with the present and the future. During the modern period, as Japan has been Westernised, how has this 'super flat' sensibility metamorphosed? If that can be grasped clearly, then our stance today will come into focus.

In this quest, the current progressive of the real in Japan runs throughout. We might be able to find an answer to our search for a concept about our lives. 'Super flatness' is an original concept of Japanese who have been completely Westernized.

Within this concept seeds for the future have been sown. Let's search the future to find them. 'Super flatness' is the stage to the future.


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