Murakami faces new challenges: the history of Jellyfish Eyes

Takashi Murakami declares bankruptcy and cancels the film Jellyfish Eyes, which has been in production for nine years. The statement in a video on Instagram.

The touching video about Jellyfish Eyes, a film by Takashi Murakami

He is one of the best known and most paid artists in the world. For years he has in fact collaborated with the biggest brands on the market. All this however did not spare Takashi Murakami (1962, Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan) from the contingencies of covid-19. He announced his new challenge to over two million fans through a touching video on Instagram. “With the sudden arrival of coronavirus, my company is bankrupt”, explains in fact the Japanese artist.

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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

He announced that “for perfectly legal tax reasons” will begin to distribute a series of video clips built as a documentary, “in which it publicly announces itself the abandonment of the film project.

The film is the sci-fi Jellyfish Eyes Part 2: Mahashankh, a” dream since childhood “that Murakami has been working on for nine years. The first episode was distributed in 2013 in Japan and the United States. However, without being “a success, from a commercial point of view.”

Murakami: Iconic artist of today

In the panorama of contemporary art, Murakami is not only one of the most famous artists of the moment. He is also an icon of Streetwear fashion, protagonist of successful collaborations with stylists such as Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh, Comme des Garçons, and Supreme.

He created QR Design for Louis Vuitton in 2009. In particular, that was a type of QR code formed by the image of one of his characters and the colorful pattern of Louis Vuitton. The Superflat code, created in collaboration with the creatives of the SET agency, is readable from mobile phones and points to a page of the Japanese mobile website of Louis Vuitton. Above all, it was the first time that Takashi Murakami engaged in an interactive project.

Murakami also introduced the term Superflat and the artistic current connected to it. In particular, it represents a postmodern art movement influenced by manga and anime. It is based on the compression of Ukiyo-e (the typical two-dimensional Japanese artistic style), with the kawaii aesthetic of anime and manga.

Looking at the future

Takashi Murakami founded the KaiKai Kiki (2001). Factory Kaikai Kiki is a school-study where students can learn the history of ancient Japanese art. It is a project that allows young artists to create free from any financial problem.

The company represents several prominent international artists, including Aya Takano, Chiho Aoshima, Mr., Kazumi Nakamura, Emi Kuraya and Yūji Ueda.

Who knows how many other works and ideas the Japanese artist has in store for anime, manga, and all that is kawaii lovers. To find out, we will have to wait and, in the meantime, admire all his pictorial, sculptural, and interactive work!

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