Japanese Artist Takashi Murakami Talks Art, Business With Beijing Students

Artist Made First Appearance At Beijing’s Central Academy Of Fine Arts (CAFA)

Takashi Murakami speaks at Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts (Image: CAFA)

Takashi Murakami speaks at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts (Image: CAFA)

This week, the renowned Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami (村上隆) made his first trip to Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), where he discussed with students the melding of art and commerce that has defined, and continues to influence, his work. As the CAFA blog notes, Murakami’s talk, entitled “The Journey of My Art” (我的艺术之路), not only introduced younger students to his iconic work, it delved into the ways artists now can navigate the worlds of art and commerce. This is a particularly important topic in China, where we’re now seeing more luxury brands looking to partner with Chinese contemporary artists on limited-edition collections.

From CAFA:

In addition to producing some of the most iconic paintings and sculptures, [Murakami’s] “business-art” activities span from designing a full gamut of consumer merchandise (either for his own Kaikai Kiki label or for fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and Comme des Garçons) to running the Geisai (an art festival) promotes young Japanese artists which held not only in Japan but also in Taiwan in 2011. His creations of the many preoccupations keep him working on a legendarily nonstop basis. He then talked about how he was inspired from other artists who changes the concrete into the abstract.

The 49-year-old Murakami said that he always fought with capitalism during his career and he believed that the freedom of artists was constrained by society. He sincerely expressed his thoughts on the relationship between artists and society.

After the event, People’s Daily (Chinese) got some face time with Murakami for a short interview, during which the artist shared a few thoughts on the Chinese art market:

PD: Can you say a little bit about your observations on the Chinese art market? Do you have plans to do an exhibition in China?

Takashi Murakami: Over the past 15 years, China’s artists have been pursuing their own freedom to fight against capitalism, which really resonates with me. But my situation isn’t as good as that of Chinese artists, because Japan is completely without a contemporary art market. In China artists are like the elite, but in Japan they’re like a down and out generation. Personally, I feel like a circus monkey, constantly having to perform, always looking for a place to play.

So, you asked me if I will hold an exhibition in China. My answer is, I’ll go wherever I can go.



Art & Design, Market Analysis