Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo, and is arguably one of the most influential and acclaimed Japanese contemporary artists to emerge during the late twentieth century. Murakami's work is easily recognizable for its bright, playful colors and imagery that seamlessly blends fine art, commercialism, animation, and Japanese pop culture. Takashi Murakami received his Ph. D in Nihonga, the traditional nineteenth-century Japense style of painting that mixes Western and Eastern styles, from the prestigious Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1993. The popularity of Japanese animation and comics, however, left an outstanding impression on the artist. As a result, Murakami created his distinctive "Superflat" style, which employs traditional Japanese painting techniques and flat aesthetic to depict a vibrant mix of Japanese pop culture, graphics, and commercialism. His work includes multiples, paintings, sculputer, and installation. Much like Andy Warhol, whom he is often compared to, Murakami founded his own factory in 1996 which has evolved into the now KaiKai Kiki corporation. While the art management corporation produces and markets Murakami's work, KaiKai Kiki also serves as a supportive environment for emerging artists. Takashi Murakami's work constantly questions the lines drawn between West and East, hight art and low art, and ancient and modern.