Superflat is a postmodern art movement founded by the artist Takashi Murakami, which is influenced by manga and anime. It is also the name of a 2001 art exhibition, curated by Murakami, that toured West Hollywood, Minneapolis and Seattle.
In this short piece, Murakami explains about the SUPERFLAT concept and what he means by that. It has a lot to do with how he sees Japanese society today and how it has evolved since the end of the Pacific war in 1945 with the devastating attacks by the US using atomic weapons.
A central influence on the concept of ‘Superflat’ is the Japanese cartoon culture of manga where enthusiasts are lured into a magical world that is divorced from reality.
The insistent two-dimensionality of manga often results in an overall patterning of colors and shapes which provides a parallel space in which to escape from the pressures and expectations of society at large. All of the artists in ‘Superflat’ work between the established boundaries of their respective genres, for instance where fine art photography meets commercial photography, where painting meets illustration, or where fashion meets theatrical costuming.the ‘supe'” in ‘Superflat’ not only emphasizes the planar qualities of much of the work, but also denotes a special, charged characteristic or attitude. With ‘Superflat’ Murakami suggests a broader definition of contemporary art in japan and the wide range of activity within the exhibition can be seen as a direct challenge to the traditional borders and hierarchies between cultural genres.