“Murakami, who is based in New York, started his career in the street over 15 years ago, tagging minimalist graphic representations of bunnies, hearts and flowers on Tokyo’s urban canvas. Back then, his aim was already to engage a cross-generational, cross-cultural audience—so by the time emoji became a global language, the universally recognized hieroglyphs had natural appeal for the artist.
Murakami prepared all of his works digitally. Using Google SketchUp, he maps out the building blocks of each sculpture, then goes offscreen and into the woodshop. There, the wood is cut, primed and painted. The paintings are planned out in Photoshop and Illustrator, then projected onto the canvas for precision tracing and painting.