You may visit a fake exhibition

business & art 于 2018年11月7号发布于

The art exhibition“Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami joint Art Collection” was presented on September 22nd in a shopping mall located in Shanghai’s central area. Visitors can experience several rooms with bright backgrounds decorated with an intensive spotted pattern, a classical feature of Yayoi Kusama’s artworks. Moreover, the exhibition also presented artists’signed artworks. However, Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami claimed that they never joined this exhibition and created those artworks.

Nihon keizai shinbunJapan Economic Newsand several other Japanese well-known media reported that: “since this year’s April, this kind of fake exhibition already appeared in four Chinese cities, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Shanghai.” As the investigation went further, the similar exhibitions were also found in other Chinese cities, for instance, Tianjin, Qingdao, Changsha, Xinjiang, Zibo, Chongqing and Suzhou. Some were the Yayoi Kusama’s solo exhibitions, while some are joint exhibitions of Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami.

When the news came out, both the Japanese artists and Chinese audience were angry and disappointed towards the exhibition organizers. Regarding this news, Yayoi Kusama said: “when I heard that some fake artworks were exhibited in Chinese several places and lots of people believed it and went to see those exhibitions, I was totally shocked. I have contributed all my life to the art creation, but my work was presented to the public in a wrong way. It is an extremely frustrating thing. To Chinese audience and also to the world, please stop this kind of fake art exhibitions, and please appreciate my real work by your eyes. I am sincerely hoping that we can overcome this kind of difficulties and create a better world.”

On the other side, this news was widely spread in Chinese social media and people were discussing about it. The most popular comment regarding this news is: 我可能看了个假展(I may visit a fake exhibition). This sentence was originated from some similar Internet popular phrases. Chinese people were used this expression to show the mixed emotion of irony and resigned. Visitors were angry for this deliberate deception behaviors. Some of the exhibitions were free entry, while others needed admission tickets, which were sold on two biggest ticket selling websites. Moreover, the exhibition organizer even promoted the exhibition in the underground stations. Lots of people were totally deceived until saw the news.

Currently, Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami have urged the exhibitions to stop and plan to sue the organizers for violating their rights. The reason why these fake exhibitions were firstly organized is that the reputation of these two artists would have attracted people and the shopping mall, along with the exhibition organizers,  would have benefitted from this improved turnout. Kusama’s and Murakami’s artworks are colorful and easy to understand, making them perfect for visitors who want to take photos and share them on social media.  As a consequence, the shopping mall has extra customers and can link its brand to the art world, while the exhibition organizers earn money from the admission fees and from the shopping malls hosting the show.

The past 30 years were golden years for the Chinese economy. The average growth rate for China was around 9.6%, while for the ideal growth rate for a country’s GDP growth is 2-3% from the international standard. In other words, the growth of Chinese economy was much faster than average. On average, every Chinese’s income will double every 7-8 years. Moreover, in the past 30 years, a Chinese family’s income more than tripled. Along with the fast income growth, Chinese also are receiving tons of information from other countries. The number of Chinese students choosing to go aboard is breaking the record every year. For example, in the UK (one of the popular aboard study destinations for Chinese students) almost one-third of non-EU students are Chinese. I believe that China knows more about the world than the world knows about China. Chinese people are actively committed to visit and know about foreign countries, especially developed countries like US, UK, Japan, Korean and European countries. China, having experienced an economic boom later with respect to other countries, is driven by the former sense of crisis to know and understand the rules of the game. At the same time, the world is shifting from the Second Industrial Revolution to the information revolution due to the fast growth of technology occurred in the past years.

To conclude, Chinese people are experiencing remarkable changes in social and economic aspects of their lives. Everything is speeding up, opportunities are everywhere, and at the same time the environment is less-regulated. The result is an uncertain social environment, where choosing to be the first-mover is a wise thing to do. Being the first-mover allows to set the rules for these new and improved markets. Therefore, even if one made a mistake (e.g. organizing a fake exhibition), revenues were still earned. Furthermore, it is unlikely to face harsh consequences because market is less-regulated and having no case law to rely on slows down possible lawsuits. After analyzing the Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Muramaki case along with the assessment on the overall situation, most people might choose to take the risk, as the revenues seem to be certain while facing consequences is just a remote possibility.

Lou Yilun


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