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The creative flight of the GDD bumblebee

Like yellow kneed Bumblebee’s amongst the flowers, pollination across the vast fields of art and design is an essential part of one’s growth into a creative and productive designer. The ideas, styles, and concepts we give and receive are the sweet nectar of a creative life. So on our recent trip to Takashi Murakami’s The Octopus Eats its Own Legs show at the Vancouver Art Gallery the air was abuzz with excitement.

Murakami is an unknown famous artist from Japan, working in a broad range of mediums; painting, silkscreen, sculpture, fashion, and animation. With one hand he dazzles you with his hyper-contemporary “Superflat” style that looks as if it has recently escaped from the confined pages of Tokyo manga. While the other grasps firmly the long-held techniques of Japanese artistic tradition. Either hand, his work is a dazzling visual force.

As art history students we recognize the value in observation. Murakami’s expansive paintings burst from the walls in vibrant explosions of colour, pulling us in and out of unending detail. Like dizzy bees we are lingering, drinking it all in before flying off to the next burst of colour. All under the towering gaze of demonic giants resting easily on their studded clubs and severed heads while wizened and gnarled ancient Arhats line up to watch us, smiling back across the ages.

Like all art, Murakami influenced each of us differently that day. But I feel it is fair to say we each experienced a bouquet of emotion and response; joy, surprising, discomforting, happiness, intrigue…  an overall positive flight through Murakami’s surreal world of colour and character. Newly inspired, with a fresh dusting of pollen on our creative knees.

Reflection by Rika Heywood, GD 102 Design History Instructor

More photos at UFVGDD Flickr