“Growing up, Murakami was obsessed with Nintendo video games, with a particular taste for titles such as Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong. When he wasn’t thumbing through the pages of game strategy books, he would often re-imagine the world around him as parts of his favorite games. It was only a matter of time before he began creating artworks based on these childhood fantasies.” – excerpt from Alex Garkavenko for Architizer Journal
When the maps first began, Shinji Murakami simplified cityscapes or imaginary scenes into palatable, symbolic 8-bit dimensions. Using a collection of stamps, the Murakami reinterpreted recognizable maps into fields of pixelated, game-inspired icons.
The works evolved with time, stamps were replaced by hand-painted symbols and characters, and Murakami rendered strikingly flat surfaces. What did continue was the imaginative interpretation of spaces, at times historical ones, and at others those close to home, like his American home city, Brooklyn.