No, I still don't like Murakami's works. But I think he is a very nice person who works hard at his job, and not stingy about sharing it with other artists!
A little retro-report here from last Nov. when I listened to his talk in Taipei.
Organized some interesting concepts to help understand where he's from. But don't pick my scattered notes, I was freezing cold and sick that night.
Notes taken from Murakami's talk about his art:
"There is a specific moral system in the west, therefore, pornography is forbidden. Any raw desires had to be oppressed. But people have to find a way to express the desires and put it at home.
In the west, art means expressing the raw/original elements of life.
Art, in their definition, is like pornography. It is expressing the original desire and put it at home. Porn is shown in literature, but never sculptures. This is why I made the sculpture works with 海洋堂.
Pornography is similar to religions, it is a way to release secrets or oppression, to let go the shameful secrets.
Art is the same; art is not only self expression, but showing the most shameful part thru expressing. This is the same for people with religions.
From the pornography concepts, I organized the Super flat show in LA. I wanted to show works commenting on porn culture. It drew a lot of negative criticism in Japan. But I wanted to ask, if nobody likes porn and everybody is ashamed of it, why are there still so many people buying it?
A critic talked about my works, 'He turned what Japanese are ashamed of into big profit on high-end market in the west.'
Why are people ashamed of kawaii styles? Because they think kawaii is childish, is immature. But I ask, what is wrong being childish? What is wrong being a child?
Also I ask, What are Japanese artists shamed of? The narrow art market, not enough collectors or appreciation from the society?
Originality means What you discover or observe but others don’t.
I encourage all artists Face what you feel ashamed of bravely and honestly.
I think we’ve reached an age of retrospection. Some wealthy people start to think that the acts of consuming or purchasing is shameful after they reached a certain level of wealth. This is why I worked with LV to create a store in the MOCA show. I want to bring out what people are ashamed of and put in right in front of them."
At this point, I still don't like Murakami's works. But I have to say that I feel what he feels. Often we create works to bring out the ugliness, but people only see the celebration part of it. It is not right or wrong because art is created by artists and viewers together. It just seems funny that the art critics are writing in one way, the artists are thinking in another way, yet the viewers who go gaga for the works are totally looking at them in YET the other way. I say, that is humor!