Acclaimed Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, known for blending pop art and Asian fine arts, moves his latest exhibition in New York into the Metaverse.
In March, renowned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami announced that he would be debuting an NFT project in the Spring of 2022. The NFT project would feature Murakami’s signature motif, flowers, and would take on the title Murakami.Flowers.
And finally, at the “An Arrow Through History” art exhibit that opened last week at the Gagosian Gallery in Manhattan, Murakami unveiled his NFT art to the public.
An Exhibit Melding Traditional and Digital Art
In the image above, you can see the Murakami.Flowers NFT project on display. And indeed, the focus of Murakami’s NFT collection that features his iconic flowers art is bridging the divide between the worlds of traditional art and NFT art through actual physical paintings and digital art.
In an interview with a French publication, Murakami expressed his concern for the younger generations who are too obsessed with their gadgets and “don’t understand the contemporary art history.”
“They can enjoy very few things, but with the plus of augmented reality, maybe the young people open their eyes more and then step into the contemporary art scene,” the 60-year-old Murakami further said.
There is no denying the popularity of digital art these days. Athletes, artists, celebrities, and even tech stars have been buying and trading NFTs left and right. NFTs, like cryptocurrencies, employ blockchain technology.
Speaking during the exhibit’s opening, the acclaimed Japanese artist said, “When I work on a creative production, I make no distinction between digital and analog.” He further stated, “I’m always working in the context of contemporary art, and that context is all about whether I can be involved in events that manage to trigger a cognitive revolution.”
Taking the Metaverse by Storm Through Traditional Art
Murakami’s exhibit provides the answer if you’re wondering how traditional art can take the Metaverse by storm. For instance, in one of his works, Murakami painted the blue and white fish patterns on thick canvases and wooden structures. The painting is inspired by Chinese porcelain vases that date back to the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368).
Where does the Metaverse step in? We all know the Metaverse is an immersive virtual reality (VR) space that people can access using augmented or virtual reality glasses. In fact, this concept has seen a dramatic boost in recent years.
With Murakami’s fish painting, those viewing the exhibit can use Snapchat or any augmented reality (AR) filter on their phones to place themselves in an immersive environment. They will find themselves standing among digital images of fish swimming among works of art that are physically real.
“Japanese culture originally came from the Eurasian continent, and my concept has been to go beyond from there into the metaverse, shooting through the history of art with a single arrow,” Murakami said in a statement from the Gagosian Gallery.
According to Murakami, the idea struck him while stuck at home at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. “I was watching the reality in my house, so that was a very monumental moment. For us it was getting super stressful every day, we could not go outside,” he told AFP. On the other hand, his kids were enjoying themselves with VR.
“That meant I had to change the mind, to fit in with the next generation of my kids,” he said. “This is my first answer—the show.”
In related news, Murakami is set to open a special exhibit titled “Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow.” It will be another exhibit featuring immersive environments held at The Broad, a contemporary art museum in Los Angeles. The show will run from May 21 through September 25.
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