Takashi Murakami’s Lecture “Katayorisugita Gendai Bijtusu Koza” Closed!

A report on Facebook:

Takashi Murakami’s Lecture “Katayorisugita Gendai Bijtusu Koza” has now concluded.

It was with great pride that we recently organized a live lecture by Takashi Murakami entitled “Katayorisugita Gendai Bijutsu Koza”. Our entire organization was involved in organizing the event over the past week and thanks to those efforts and the attention of all who attended, it proved to be quite a fruitful occasion. I hope that everyone who came was able to grasp something new.

This year marks the 12th year of GEISAI and the 20th individual event in Japan.

14 years ago, I ran a free seminar via an online forum that I owned called “Geijyutsu Dojo.”
To compensate for the relative weakness of art criticism in Japan, I invited Emiko Kasahara, Noi Sawaragi, Hiroki Azuma, and Kiyoshi Kusumi, also known as Dr.GD, to participate and review the various essays sent in by participants in the event. Our goal, as always, was the nurturing of young artistic talent.
It was during this event that we were first met with the request to not only offer young people a chance to exchange thoughts on the issues facing art, but also a place where they could exhibit and receive feedback on their work. It was from this that I began the precursor to GEISAI, Geijyutsu Dojyo GP, held on Sunday, September 2, 2001 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.
After that, despite the fact that I was not particularly well off financially, we began GEISAI in 2002 …
I remember nearly having an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis after seeing the amount of debt we incurred with GEISAI#2.
GEISAI#11 was the incarnation with the biggest budget so far.
In those days, we invited several jurors from abroad in the hope that exhibitors would be inspired to go west and try their luck in the contemporary art market. Instead, the day after GEISAI#11, Lehmann Brothers announced their bankruptcy and the world economic market crashed. My ever expanding dreams were quickly shrunk down to size and Kaikai Kiki was brought to the brink of bankruptcy by the bills incurred.
Even then, I reminded myself not to give up easily and on Sunday, October 18, 2009, a scaled down GEISAI#13 was held at my studio in Miyoshi, Saitama.
There really are a lot of memories…

Although GEISAI#15 was scheduled to be held on March 13, 2011, we were forced to cancel due to The East Japan Great Earthquake and Tsunami. We gave refunds to exhibitors, and paid half our bills to the companies who had already been hired to support it. It was an incredibly difficult time.
Over thse past 12 years, I have invested 16 billion yen of my own money into GEISAI. This seemed to me to be the only way that I could interact with the Japanese art world. I have taken on the responsibility of educating and nurturing young artists. And in doing so, I continue to think about ways to continue GEISAI and the meaning of doing so.

It was in this context that we recently held the event “Katayorisugita Gendai Bitjutsu Koza,” a lecture which brought us back to GEISAI’s roots, as I shared the secrets of my career and experience with the assembled audience just as I had done on the Geijutsu Dojo forum all those years ago. What I talked to them was my experiences and knowledge of the art. Using the catalog from a Wade Guyton solo exhibition as a textbook, I thought I might be able to help young people who lack the knowledge to understand “what his works are” and give them a context for that understanding by comparing them to those of other related artists.

I am currently considering holding a similar lecture on western contemporary art as part of GEISAI#20. Keep your eyes here for more details.
And… If you are an aspiring artist, please apply to participate in GEISAI.


Thank you to everyone who attended the lecture. Until next time.

GEISAI Chairman Takashi Murakami