Friday, November 28, 2008

Murakami Lecture @ Christie's HK

Sometime yesterday afternoon I found out that Japanese artist Takashi Murakami was going to be giving a lecture at Christie's Hong Kong. Well, somehow I was able to register for the event last minute and got to see a really good speech.

Great Fall day in HK, weather was perfect.
Seeing this display when you're really thirsty is like finding an oasis in the desert. As a huge water fan I was rather excited to see this line up and especially to see Fiji in Hong Kong for the 1st time.

Ok ok, back to the topic, this man.

In his speech/ presentation he showed a bunch of movies and clips from his own Kaikai Kiki co. These few caps are from Kanye West's Good Morning video.

Then I got a quick picture with the man, he's an awesome guy.

Murakami gave a really interesting lecture on the eclectic Otaku culture of Japan and how they influence and are influenced.
The Otaku culture is basically a huge group of people who just completely immerse themselves in anime, manga, certain Otaku pop stars, video games, etc. Murakami jokingly said himself after showing a video of these people, "Yes, they are pretty uncool." But he explained that every subculture is going to be seen as uncool of you don't understand it and can't relate. Using himself as an example, Murakami went on saying that when he used to live in America for a few years he loved to listen to the Smashing Pumpkins, however upon returning to Japan the music was dull because he no longer was able to breath the air that they did and feel their inspiration. He follow by saying how hard it is for people outside of Japan to relate to the culture especially because they don't know what daily life is like in Japan and why people are driven to live an Otaku life.
While Japan appears to be perfect and people live normal lives, there are many people who don't feel fulfilled or satisfied with their lives. This leads back to the constant Identity issues that the Japanese are always faced with. This all being the reason that the Otaku culture is so popular. If people find no value in their own daily lives, what better to do than become obsessed with the lives of characters in comics, shows, and games. The downside of this as Murakami said is that many of these people are socially inept and the crowd of mostly men remain single (the 46 year old artist admitting that he himself is still unmarried). He described them as junkies, but games and comics are their drug.

In closing Murakami took some questions, and in short:
-He doesn't think that the financial crisis should hurt the Japanese art scene much, and he still plans to hold Geisai at least once or twice a year to continue the artistic boom in Japan.
-Fashion in 15 years will be led by the Otaku culture, even though now it is only a small market almost exclusively to Japan.
-It doesn't matter if his fans fully understand the impact and meaning behind some of his and other pop and superflat art (since it's much deeper than cute girls singing and animals talking). He just enjoys that the genre is out there and being enjoyed. Plus, some of it doesn't make any sense at all in the first place.

It was quite a good lecture with tons of visual aid, which always helps. He's a really awesome guy and his vision is all about peace in the world, and he tries to bring that through his art.

"Art is a miracle created by the human race which could bring about a revolution without bloodshed."
- Takashi Murakami's definition of Art


ps. kindly don't quote this, it's just my understanding from my notes and memory of what he said. Thanks

No comments:

Post a Comment


Home | Streetwear Fans | Streetwear Brands | About Us | Blog | Contact Us