Flowers

Murakami began to create works featuring collages of his now recognizable smiling flowers. Murakami describes how flowers became an integral part of his work, "When I was preparing for the entrance exams for the University of Fine Arts, I spent two years drawing flowers. I drew some every day. And the entrance exam in the Nihon-ga section also involved flower drawing. Afterwards, to earn a living, I spent nine years working in a preparatory school, where I taught the students to draw flowers. Once every two days, I would buy flowers for my lesson and make compositions for the students to work on. At the beginning, to be frank, I didn't like flowers, but as I continued teaching in the school, my feelings changed: their smell, their shape - it all made me feel almost physically sick, and at the same time I found them very 'cute'. Each one seems to have its own feelings, its own personality.”