Takashi Murakami – 村上 隆 – (1962) is one of the most famous and important Japanese contemporary artists. He is very well known for his pop mix of fine art and popular culture, especially with his use of boldly graphic and colourful anime and manga cartoon style. Murakami is a very diverse artist as he is also a curator, a cultural entrepreneur, and a critical observer of contemporary Japanese society. He has earned his name thanks to his innovative “Superflat” aesthetic style that combines traditional Japanese art with contemporary Japanese pop culture. The theory deems that there is a legacy of flat, 2-dimensional symbolism from Japanese art history in manga and anime. This style differentiates itself from the western approach in its emphasis on surface and use of flat planes of colour. Murakami has created a style that could be seen as ‘uniquely Japanese’: a style that is rooted in his own Japanese culture and history but still cool and internationally attractive. His artistic style includes cute but disturbing anime-esque characters rendered in bright colours, flat and highly glossy surfaces, life-size sculptures of anime figurines. Despite its apparent playfulness, Murakami’s art acts as a cultural critique with subversive connotations hidden in its symbolism. Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo, Japan. He studied at Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan, (formerly, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music), where he received his B.F.A. in 1986, his M.F.A. in 1988, and his P.h.D. in 1993. His work has been displayed in various exhibitions around the world, including those held at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Gagosian Gallery in London, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and the Versailles Palace. In 2011, he organized the “New Day: Artists for Japan” international charity auction at Christie’s New York in response to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.