Japanese art culture

Takashi Murakami on the Art of Collecting Art
By TAKASHI MURAKAMIFEB. 2, 2016
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“Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection: From Shohaku and Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer”
“Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection: From Shohaku and Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer”CreditKentaro Hirao
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As his personal collection goes on display at a Japanese museum, the artist describes what it’s like to be on the other side of the transaction.

Since the bubble economy crashed, there has been a very low awareness of art collecting in Japanese society and even a certain resentment toward people who hold collections — a near campaign of negativity. Since I am an artist who also holds a reasonably sized collection, it seemed appropriate, as a cultural figure, for me to show how these collections can be used to explore the question, What is art? I don’t really have a strong desire for my collection to be understood. It’s more of a personal aim. But the collection has been hidden away in storage in many different places for a long time, so I’m looking forward to seeing it all in one venue and hoping that this will help me to organize my thoughts.

For me, what is important is to hold works of art in my possession, to make the actual purchase. This is a hands-on way for me to experiment and learn about the personal value that pieces hold to collectors, their value as works of art and the traits by which they can be evaluated. I’m really trying to explore the nature of art from both an economic perspective and from the emotional perspective of the collector.

“Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection: From Shohaku and Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer,” on view at the Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan through April 3, 2016.

A version of this article appears in print on February 14, 2016, on page M2120 of T Magazine with the headline: Takashi Murakami on the Art of Collecting Art. Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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