Takashi Murakami: Blossoming in the NFT Garden

Takashi Murakami is no stranger to the world of anime, collaborations, lucrative art auctions and traditional Japanese painting studies. His new contribution to the art realm lies in Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, in the form of “Murakami Flowers”, a pixelated take on his famous floral motif.

His Instagram account has been very active, in anticipation of his new NFT aesthetic representation for it chronicles his past works. Murakami has cooperated with a diversified field of celebrities like Louis Vitton, J Balvin, Billie Elish, Marc Jacobs, Kanye West and Nike’s RTFKT.

Murakami’s Inspirations

Murakami studied at Musashino Art University, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and Nihon University’s College of Arts. He has exhibited his solo work all around the world. He initially was drawn to contemporary art when he was in art school, having witnessed Robert Ryman’s and Jeff Koon’s work at Sonnabend Gallery. These two exhibitions helped Murakami appreciate that, not only does art have value, but it can also introduce new cognitive fields.

Murakami was attracted to NFTs when Beeple’s work sold for $75 million at an auction. Naturally, Murakami started his NFT voyage with flowers, the core of his creativity. He has long explored the Japan-America relationship: Godzilla, kaiju, Fat Man, Little Boy and his own takes on his homeland, Japan. Murakami’s floral aspects include birds, flower, moon and wind, which are common in other forms of traditional Japanese art. They evoke the beauty found in the seasons.

Part of Murakami’s discovery of NFTs is related to Covid-19 and not being able to leave his country. In the world of the metaverse, Murakami believes art will become more interactive. In a similar sense, he espouses that the cognitive revolutions in our brain will continue to evolve alongside past, present and future computer advancements. As time goes on, the complexity associated with art will continue. 

Flower NFTs

The Murakami.Flowers espouses the Superflat, an ‘anti-pyramidal hierarchy’ which has impacted anime, manga and video games. Through a combination of digital art and physical paintings, the goal of Murakami.Flowers is to fuse the NFT art realm with the traditional art world.

Through his 108 Murakami.Flowers NFTs, Murakami will enter the metaverse. This is only the first stage. There is a gallery show in the works for May this year, which will be followed by an LCD handheld video game titled, “Flower Go Walk”. Lastly, Murakami also announced plans for a series of digital video and online games.   

Details of the NFT Sale

Murakami’s 11,664 images will be classified into “Whitelist” and “Public Sale” categories. ‘Whitelist” NFTs will be priced at .0727 ETH presale while “Public Sale” ones will be priced at .108 ETH. “Whitelist” will include 500 Murakami-related Whitelist ones, 3000 holders of RTFKT’s Clone X with Murakami Drip, and the remaining 500 will go to friends and family. Some collaborators and friends of the Japanese gallery, Kaikai kiki, are also eligible for Takashi Murakami NFT Whitelist.

Unclaimed artwork will be offered via Public Sale. 6,751 NFT images will also be offered via Public Sale but on a lottery system basis. Since Murakami’s lucky number is “727”, the following distribution will be a distribution of 727 images or “Lucky 727 Proof”. This will be followed  by a release of 78 versions of his iconic flowers. One purchase means one flower per MetaMask wallet and on the day of the release, each image will be put on sale as a “seed” and can be redeemed as a flower after the “Public Sale” revelation. It is still a mystery as to what kind of flower will “grow” as a result of the “seeds.” 

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