In case you haven’t heard, all of Japan has been embroiled in a political scandal since last week when assemblywoman Ayaka Shiomura was heckled during a speech with sexist remarks from assemblymen. One of the perpetrators has since stepped forward to apologize while the other remains unidentified. It’s hard to turn on the news or go online without hearing some form of analysis or conspiracy theory about the debacle, which is actually quite embarrassing for Prime Minister Abe, who has been touting the need to empower women in Japan.
But in a swift and hasty move now Takashi Murakami, perhaps one of Japan’s most well-known artists, is throwing in his two-cents. He’s announced a sudden and unplanned exhibition of portraits featuring the very women at the center of the scandal. Images of Ayaka Shiomura — from her initial speech but also from her press conference — have been appropriated and converted into dot portraits, which have then been overlaid onto Murakami’s signature smily floral patterns.
The portraits were installed and have been made available to the public beginning June 26. They’re at the artist’s new gallery/cafe Bar Zingaro in Nakano.