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Takashi Murakami, Jellyfish Eyes

  • Edlis Neeson Theater
    First Floor, Accessible via the Griffin Entrance on Pearson Street
    220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Featured image

  1. Long Two children, a boy and a girl smile, arm in arm, as they are being hugged by a large grey depiction of a dog. The dog character is about twice as tall and three times as wide as the children, with long bushy grey fur. His ears hang over his face and cover his eyes, giving him a very light hearted and silly expression. The boy is holding a pink object that resembles a bouquet of flowers in shape, but looks slightly otherworldly and alien, in that it looks like a series of bubbly, pink teardrops.
Takashi Murakami, still from Jellyfish Eyes, 2013. Color/HD, 100 min.; written by Jun Tsugita and Yoshihiro Nishimura, directed by Takashi Murakami; starring Takuto Sueoka, Himeka Asami, Shota Sometani, Kanji Tsuda, Mayu Tsuruta, and Takumi Saitoh


Takashi Murakami visits the MCA to introduce his first live-action feature film Jellyfish Eyes (2013), which will embark on an eight-stop screening tour of art institutions and cultural venues across the United States. The film combines Murakamiʼs trademark anime-inspired visual aesthetic with broader themes of social change and self-empowerment. Blending computer-animated graphics and live-action cinematography, Jellyfish Eyes is a coming-of-age tale set in a post-Fukushima world, recalling Japanese monster films of the 1950s while embodying the promise of generational hope. Jellyfish Eyes tells the story of Masashi, a young boy who moves to a sleepy town in the Japanese countryside with his mother in the wake of a natural disaster. After returning home from his new elementary school one day, Masashi discovers a flying jellyfish-like creature whom he befriends and names Kurage-bo. Masashi soon discovers that all of his classmates have similarly magical pets, known as F.R.I.E.N.D.s, which are controlled by electronic devices that the children use to battle one another. Despite their playful appearances, however, these F.R.I.E.N.D.s turn out to be part of a sinister plot that will threaten the entire town.

The film premiered at the Los Angeles County Museum of Artʼs Bing Theater in April 2013 and was released in theaters throughout Japan immediately thereafter.

Running time: 100 minutes
Presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

Visitors are encouraged to bring along their childhood stuffed toys—their F.R.I.E.N.D.s.—to the screening. Those who do are invited to take a group photo with Takashi Murakami.

About the Artist

Born in Tokyo in 1962, Takashi Murakami is arguably one of the most influential and acclaimed artists to have emerged from Asia in the late twentieth century. His work has been exhibited extensively in venues around the world, including the Qatar Museum Authority; Palace of Versailles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Brooklyn Museum; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris; Serpentine Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.