How MADSAKI Overcame Racial Discrimination by Watching ‘He-Man’

As part of an upcoming exhibition called “1984” at Kaikai Kiki Gallery , MADSAKI will soon unveil a new selection of paintings and sculptures inspired by Mattel’s cult franchise, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe . Commonly abbreviated as MOTU, the animated series made its debut in 1982 and focused on two primary characters He-Man, “the most powerful man in the Universe,” and his nemesis, the skull-faced sorcerer Skeletor. The Japanese artist not only references the television show, but also its popular toy line, comic book covers and action figure packaging across his vivid compositions and three-dimensional works. Apart from He-Man, MADSAKI also recounts his experiences as a child growing up in Bergen County, New Jersey without any English-speaking skills.

“The year was 1980—MADSAKI was six years old, and had just relocated from Osaka, Japan to Bergen County, New Jersey with no English skills whatsoever. Strangers mocked him with […]


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