This year's Art Basel has been a triumph for Takashi Murakami, who was feted at a whimsical, star-studded dinner hosted by Galerie Perrotin, starring geishas and cosplay actors specially flown in from Japan. Also announced were two exhibitions taking place in the artist's homeland over the next months – a major retrospective at Tokyo's Mori Museum, and an exhibition of his private art collection, which stretches from Soga Shohaku to Anselm Kiefer. The exhibitions' trailer shows '500 Arhats', a 100m-long painting created in response to the Great East Japan earthquake of 2011. Breathtaking in scale and meticulous in detail, it depicting the 500 enlightened followers of the Buddha and offers a humbling meditation of the power of faith in times when technology is stretched to its limits. It's a truly riveting work that has only once been exhibited, and makes for a fitting centrepiece for the Tokyo show.
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Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.
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