Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture
Published by Japan Society, New York, and Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2005
Edited by Takashi Murakami
Includes Alexandra Munroe’s essay “Introducing Little Boy” and contributions by Tom Eccles, Midori Matsui, Kaichiro Morikawa, Toshio Okada, Noi Sawaragi, and Katy Siegel
Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture is the companion catalogue to the exhibition of the same title, curated by artist Takashi Murakami. The 448-page book interprets the complex intuitive twist of postwar Japanese art while defining its high-spirited and naturally buoyant escape from human tragedy and the events of World War II. Murakami also coins the term “superflat” to chronicle the two-dimensional aspect of manga (comics) and anime (animated television and cinema). He argues how the international boom in popular media influenced Japanese fine art as well as the social implications of superflat with regard to the true impact of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 on Japanese art and culture.