image-4-murakamiWandering around Doha these past few weeks you will probably have seen various bright and eye catching cartoon advertisements for Ego at the Museum of Islamic Art. This is Takashi Murakami’s first exhibition in the Middle East and also the biggest one to date. The exhibition immerses visitors into Murakami’s fantasy world and his original take on pop culture.

Ego will be on view from February 9th to June 24th, 2012 in the Al Riwaq exhibition space next to the Museum of Islamic Art on the Corniche.

image-12-murakamiQatar Museum Authority (QMA) has described the exhibition as a giant self-portrait and a glimpse into the artist’s mind. Murakami has created new monumental works of art, multimedia objects and new modes of display. The exhibition will feature 70 works and the curator Massimiliano Gioni has said that the title is inspired from the idea that one can create “a dialogue with one’s own ego”.

image-6-murakami1The Japanese artist’s exhibition is part of a year-long series of cultural, sporting and business events to commemorate the enduring friendship between Japan and Qatar.

“I like to think of this exhibition as the foundation of ‘Murakami City’,” said curator Gioni. Likening the show to an urban experience out of a science fiction film, he said that QMA “embraced the artist’s vision with incredible generosity.”

image-3-murakamiUpon entering, visitors will see the first exhibit, the huge Self-Portrait Ballon (2012) in which Murakami depicts himself realistically (a departure for him) in the posture of Buddha, extending his hands in welcome. Other grand works include a massive circus tent where Murakami’s recent animated films will be shown, a painting that wraps around three walls of the gallery space (100m long!) and inflatable sculptures.