Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Takashi Murakami’s Art, Inflated for the Macy’s Parade -

"The Japanese artist Takashi Murakami watched as balloons of his Kaikai and Kiki characters were readied for the parade."

Published: November 24, 2010

It is not uncommon for people to react with awe to their first up-close encounter with a balloon from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But when Takashi Murakami saw his contributions to Thursday’s event, he bowed. Twice.

"On Wednesday afternoon, on a stretch of West 81st Street in Manhattan where brightly colored, 30-foot-tall inflatable versions of his characters Kaikai and Kiki were wriggling and writhing underneath a huge net, Mr. Murakami, the Japanese pop artist, held a brief Shinto ceremony for purity and luck. He stood at a table where he poured out a glass of water and a glass of sake in front of two plates, one of white rice and one of sea salt. He gave two bows and clapped twice, then declared the ritual complete.
Kaikai, a childlike character in a rabbit costume, and Kiki, an impish figure with three eyes and two dangling fangs, were ready to greet the parade-watching public.
In an interview after the ceremony Mr. Murakami, his bushy hair tied in a knot, seemed exuberant. He said he was less concerned about whether Kaikai and Kiki — who do not promote any television cartoon shows or breakfast cereals, and are merely ambassadors of Mr. Murakami’s own playfully esoteric art — could hold their own in the Macy’s parade than about Thursday morning’s weather."
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