One of the exhibitions at LuOne shopping mall in Shanghai (via CapitaLand’s Facebook)

A series of exhibitions supposedly featuring artwork by Japanese contemporary artists Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami have been sweeping across China since April 2018. Kusama and Murakami’s representatives have said the artists were unaware of the stagings, and believe the works to be fakes.

On October 24, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that Kusama’s lawyers have shut down the exhibit in Shanghai, which has been on view since mid-September. They intend to seek civil and criminal action once the responsible parties are precisely identified (currently, they believe a Chinese company proposed the exhibitions to the venues).

These counterfeit exhibitions have thus far gone on view in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, and Shanghai. Certain shows requested admission, selling tickets for 60 Chinese Yuan (~$8).

“This is extremely malicious, and we are considering a similar response [to Kusama’s attorney’s],” Murakami’s attorney, Hiroshi Kamiyama, told the Review.

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Jasmine Weber

Jasmine Weber is an artist, writer, and former news editor at Hyperallergic. Follow her on Instagram and

One reply on “Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami Challenge Counterfeit Exhibitions of Their Art in China”

  1. Has anyone yet figured out whether Kusama and Lucas Samaras were aware of each other’s quite similar versions of what Kusama called her “Infinity Rooms”? Samaras’s “Mirrored Room” (formerly “Room Number 2) from 1966 is roughly contemporaneous with Kusama’s earliest (1965) Infinity rooms. There are, of course, significant differences between the rooms–their respective sizes, lighting and configurations and, presumably, the artists’ individual intentions for their work. Samaras seems to have been toying with a mirrored room concept since the early sixties and his “Room Number 1” was created in 1964, one year before Kusama’s first Infinity Room. I am not suggesting Kusama consciously “borrowed” the concept or was even aware of Samaras’s work but sometimes these things are in the zeitgeist, available to individual artists coming from vastly different points of view. That said, it would be interesting to consider both artists’ ideas as part of a wider impulse toward perceptual phenomena and stimulating direct, kinetic response on the part of audience/participants that was very much “in the air” during this wildly inventive period of contemporary art.

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