Here’s something unexpected that I saw at the Armory Show last month: sushi with Japanese manga images on it, by artist Mahomi Kunikata. When I went on to do a little research on this artist, I learned that she is affiliated with ‘Kaikai Kiki LLC,” which is an artist-led art enterprise founded by Takashi Murakami. So what exactly is this art enterprise? Kaikai Kiki LLC originated in 2001, and its goals as an enterprise include the production and promotion of artwork, the management and support of select young artists, general management of events and projects, and the production and promotion of merchandise. Kaikai Kiki employs roughly 50 people in its Tokyo headquarters and 20 people in its New York office and studio.
It sounds kind of like a contemporary (and Japanese) take on Andy Warhol’s Studio … I’m curious as to what types of “merchandise” they create … more later as I learn more about it.