French protesters oppose new Takashi Murakami show

Trouble is brewing in France for Japan’s most famous contemporary artist.

In In the News by William Andrews 2010-09-03

Controversy is something that many if not most artists like to court. But has Takashi Murakami got more than he bargained for?

The Pop Artist with a penchant for Louis Vuitton collaborations is about to open a new exhibition of his work at the Chateau de Versailles outside of Paris from September 14 to December 12.

Though the French are well known for being Japanophiles, not everyone is happy about the show. The Versailles Defence Coordination has collected 4,387 signatures and is protesting Murakami’s art on the grounds that his works “have no place in the royal apartments.”

Meanwhile Murakami himself said, somewhat ambiguously, of his forthcoming exhibition: “I am the Cheshire cat that welcomes Alice in Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Château.”

William Andrews

William Andrews. William Andrews came to Japan in 2004. He first lived in Osaka, where he was a translator for Kansai Art Beat. Arriving in Tokyo in 2008, he now works as an writer, editor and translator. He writes a blog about Japanese radicalism and counterculture ( and one about Tokyo contemporary theatre ( He is the author of Dissenting Japan: A History of Japanese Radicalism and Counterculture, from 1945 to Fukushima. » See other writings


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