• The Associated Press

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Miniaturized modern works of art are now free — with the purchase of two pieces of chewing gum for 350 yen.

The gum-and-figurine boxes are a collaboration between artist Takashi Murakami and toy maker Takara Co.

There are 10 figurines in the collection designed by Murakami, one in each pack. They include cartoonlike animals with dopey round eyes and mushrooms with eyeballs.

The high-brow gum hits convenience stores Dec. 8; only 300,000 packs will be sold. Murakami, who believes art should be part of mass culture, says he’s excited about children buying his work in a box of candy.

“The fact that art will infiltrate the masses is revolutionary in the history of art,” he said.

Murakami has scored international success with his energetic artwork, some of it evocative of “manga” comics, and for his commercial work, such as colorful bag designs for Louis Vuitton.

Candy sold with toys, such as manga characters or models of cars, has become wildly popular in Japan, even among adults.

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