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Takashi Murakami's company is on the verge of bankruptcy amid the pandemic

The contemporary artist shares how COVID-19 has affected his life on IGTV

  • Cheryl Chow
  • 6 July 2020
Takashi Murakami's company is on the verge of bankruptcy amid the pandemic

“Today’s story is my very heartbreak story”, begins Takashi Murakami on a recent IGTV video. On July 1, the Japanese contemporary visual artist-celebrity publicised a 14-minute personal video on his Instagram to his two million followers disclosing the financial and emotional toll the pandemic has placed on the shoulders of Kaikai Kiki, his Tokyo-based art production company. Kaikai Kiki was founded with the objective of managing artists and art-related events, and has offices in Tokyo, Berlin, New York and Taiwan. Very unfortunately, we learn from Murakami’s IGTV that the company has gone bankrupt due to COVID-19.

Murakami also announced on the video that he and his company, unwillingly, had to cancel the production of his sci-fi feature film ‘Jellyfish Eyes Part 2: Mahashankh’, which had already been in the making for nine years. He lamented, “For nine long years, I had persevered! It was a film that was to realize my childish dreams! The enormous budget I poured into this project, as well as my tenacious persistence, put a constant and tremendous stress on my company’s operation for the past nine years. But at the same time, I was able to endure various hardships because I had this project.”

The good news is, as some sort of partial resurrection, Murakami will be producing a series of videos to announce the discontinuation of the film’s production. “These videos will be released against the backdrop of our struggle to avoid an economic catastrophe, but perhaps it may have a cathartic effect on the viewers/my followers to see the story of stupid Murakami’s failure. Long story short, I’m a silly human being for whom the moment of bliss is when I am thinking my truly childish sci-fi thoughts.”

The IGTV also shows us behind-the-scenes footage of ‘Jellyfish Eyes Part 2’. Watch it below:

View this post on Instagram

This spring, I streamed a series of cooking show of a sort on Instagram Live. I’m sure those who watched them were utterly confused, but I was trying to buoy my own thoroughly sunken feelings through these streamings. With the sudden swoop of COVID-19 pandemic, my company faced bankruptcy and I had to give up on a number of projects, the most symbolic of which being the production of my sci-fi feature film, Jellyfish Eyes Part 2: Mahashankh. For nine long years, I had persevered! It was a film that was to realize my childish dreams! The enormous budget I poured into this project, as well as my tenacious persistence, put a constant and tremendous stress on my company’s operation for the past nine years. But at the same time, I was able to endure various hardships because I had this project. Faced with the current predicament, however, I was persuaded by both my business consultant and tax attorney that I must, simply must try and drastically reduce our business tax by filing the film’s production cost as tax-exempt expenditure. To that end, I am going to produce and release a series of videos to publicly announce the discontinuation of the film’s production. (To be clear, this is an entirely legitimate procedure—I’m not trying to evade tax!) These videos will be released against the backdrop of our struggle to avoid an economic catastrophe, but perhaps it may have a cathartic effect on the viewers/my followers to see the story of stupid Murakami’s failure. Long story short, I’m a silly human being for whom the moment of bliss is when I am thinking my truly childish sci-fi thoughts. I don’t know how many episodes the series will end up being, but a series it will be, so please come along with me on this journey for a little while.

A post shared by Takashi Murakami (@takashipom) on

Takashi Murakami is a well-known and much loved artist who creates fine arts media like painting and sculpture that he blurs with commercial media like fashion, merch and animation. This synthesis of contemporary pop has awarded him with a cult like following. He also has a PhD in nihonga painting, which is known to combine the most cutting-edge techniques with traditional Japanese art. If you follow him on Instagram, you might have recently encountered his series of home cooking videos in which he captures the busy amid the stressful circumstances caused by the coronavirus crisis.

[via HYPEBEAST]

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