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Artist Takashi Murakami tells us everything we need to know about his Perrier collaboration

Emerald Pellot
·3-min read

Legendary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has worked with designer brands like Louis Vuitton and trendy artists like Billie Eilish — and now he’s making his art even more accessible.

Murakami partnered with Perrier to design a set of limited edition bottles. The Perrier x Murakami labels feature his signature smiling flower and two of his most beloved characters, Kaikai and Kiki.

“So Perrier is pretty popular all over the world and everybody knows — and everybody, you know, has the possibility to drink it one time,” Murakami told In The Know. “So that means it can touch everybody.”

That isn’t necessarily an understatement either, the limited edition bottles will be available in 35 countries starting in November. Plus, Murakami’s personal history with the brand goes way back.

“When I was 18 or 19, my first date was, you know, two years older. I was a little bit — how can I say? — nervous,” he said. “And then I invited her to some restaurant and I couldn’t drink alcohol, but Perrier looked, like, very cool. And then I ordered two Perrier. I was thinking, oh this is a kind of alcohol and just, you know, with bubbles. And I was shocked [to learn it was non-alcoholic].”

Now, decades later, Murakami is gracing the brand’s label with his vibrant, youth-infused artwork. However, the artist admitted the process of working with the curves on the glass bottle is different than his usual pieces.

“This is a very technical thing. It’s a glass print. It’s my very first time, like, I have to make it morph to the shape,” he said. “So that experience is super unique because, you know, every time I’m making just a flat thing, so, I love this.”

View this post on Instagram

Green Green Green! Collabo w @perrier

A post shared by Takashi Murakami (@takashipom) on Sep 23, 2020 at 8:06am PDT

The bottles reference traditional Japanese motifs of snow, moon and flower — with Murakami’s bold, punchy take on each one. But the visual artist seems to take the most pride in Kaikai and Kiki’s appearance on the bottles.

“Oh, this is a very shocking choice, the Perrier company choosing these two characters because these characters have Japanese language,” he said, pointing to Japanese characters on the bottle. “Very few people can read. This is the very greatest thing in this collaboration.”

Although Murakami’s artwork has sold for millions of dollars, he says he feels more at home with youth and subculture. Thus, it only made sense for him to dip his toes into mass culture.

“I want people to enjoy all over the world,” Murakami told In The Know of the limited edition bottles. “Making it popular is one of my dreams.”

Shop the first design in a collection that highlights Black artists and brings their vision for equality to life:

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