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Want to brighten up a dreary, late winter day? Then head indoors to Vancouver Art Gallery for Takashi Murakami’s fabulous colour-infused world, The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg.

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This key exhibit chronicles the Tokyo-born artist’s long-standing career, while the title refers to a Japanese saying that loosely translates to surviving in times of duress by feeding on or sacrificing oneself.

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An octopus will eat its own leg to survive, knowing that the tentacle will regenerate over time.

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Murakami chose this title to exhibit the cyclical nature of his work. He also founded Tokyo production and art management company Kaikai Kiki to help manage young artists as well as various events, projects and merchandise.

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And speaking of merch, you can go crazy at the VAG store with Murakami-branded fluffy animals, trademark daisies, books, pins, posters and stickers.

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I was blown away by some of the detail in his work; Dali comes to mind for the sheer variety of creatures that appear throughout the collection.

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56-year-old Murakami is known for blurring the lines between fine art and commercialism, having designed t-shirts and designer handbags alongside his paintings and sculptures.

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Over 55 works spanning three decades of Murakami are here, from his earliest pieces to the more colourful, large-scale formats.

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Inspired by Buddhism, folk traditions, art history and pop culture, Murakami’s style is all over the map — 1979’s Three Mile Island nuclear disaster is also captured in one of his works, a far contrast to kanYeWest Graduation.

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Yes, Murakami created the cutting-edge cover design for Kanye’s 10th anniversary album, blasting West’s infamous Dropout Bear into Universe-City.

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Take a look at just a few of these masterworks and save an afternoon to indulge in his fantasy world. Vancouver weather will surely guarantee at least a wet day or two before we get our moments in the sun.

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The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg continues at the Vancouver Art Gallery through May 6.

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