“What are the conditions for artists to be able to keep selling their work?”
We asked this question to an art galllery representative at a department store.
“Let me see. I suppose one thing is to keep changing.”
It is difficult to survive for a long period in the world of art, and without a doubt, the market view will have changed considerably in ten years’ time.
It is common for new artists to emerge, and for artists who were popular in a certain age to disappear.
However, among these, there are artists who retain their popularity.
What is the difference between those who disappear and those who survive?
We wanted to ask the opinion of a seller.
After saying that this is to “keep changing”, they continued as follows.
“Those artists who survive are those who, while retaining their specific impression, are able to make you believe that they are exhibiting something different from before”.
In other words, while the overall impression must be something specific to that person, there must be a new challenge taking them beyond what they did before.
Without this, “the customer will just think that ‘I have this already. In that case, I will just take the smallest one’”. In this way, they will not embrace the range of the collection.
Recently, I have been aware of the activities of artists approaching their 40s who are continuing to grow long-term, and thinking about what kind of activities they are involved in.
It is very important, therefore, to “keep changing while valuing the impression of your work”.
For example, despite the fact that Haruki Murakami’s novels exhibit a different view of the world each time, there is a mysterious feeling of fulfillment after reading it that you have “read Haruki Murakami”.
There is the same kind of thing in music for bands that last a long time.
This is required for artists as well, and it is important to renew that exciting “edge” every time.
Then, if the artist’s activities can be split into intervals of 20 years, that is into the new period, middle period, and mature period, these can be thought of as the transitional periods.
If there are collectors who want to support the age of the young newcomer, they can grow along with them, but this differs a little in regard to support for artists in their middle period, and mature period.
To a certain extent, influence and name value are important standards for the distribution of works.
For living national treasures, there is not the feeling of “Do your best! I am supporting you so I will buy this product!”
From now, I will be moving from my young period to the middle period.
For this reason, I want to challenge many things,and one of these concerns my overseas approach.
Lacquer art conceals many important elements that will raise its profile, and I will carry out activities to maximize this.
In my global activities as well, I think I have been sucessful in both establishing a Yasuhiro Arai style, and nurturing an artistisc sense in which I am continually changing from what I have done before.
To stop here and produce stable products is comfortable and gives you a sense of reassurance but there is no future in such production activities.
The period where I was not so popular was much longer, so I will not take the current period for granted, and, as I feel ready to pick myself up again and again, I just want to take myself further and further.