The sensational collection for the first time in Hanover!
30.05.2008 - 08.06.2008 / Kunsthalle Faust

Noam Braslavsky presents: Matthew Barney, Joseph Beuys, Maurizio Cattelan, Gilbert & George, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jeff Koons, Thomas Schütte, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Rachel Whiteread

The Murakami Collection, Flyer

Murakami Kazuya (Jong-il), born in 1941 in Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu, the only son of the Japanese stockbroker Yuuto Murakami and the Korean concubine Choe Hea, is one of the most unusual art patrons in the contemporary Japanese business world. Due to his mother’s early death and his father’s constant business trips, Murakami was raised in Japan by his strict, tradition-conscious grandmother, who not only forbade him all contact with his Korean family, but concealed his Korean origins from the public for his own protection.

Fascinated by his father’s work, Murakami studied business and law in Tokyo. While still a student he began investing in the stocks of such new and controversial companies as Sony, at the time the first in Japan to adopt a Latin name – causing a furor in Japanese society at a time when the Japanese had just lost the war to the Americans. In the early sixties Murakami was already a shareholder in the textile factory of a former classmate: one of the first to specialize in the production of synthetic clothes, he rapidly captured the global market.

The Murakami Collection
The Murakami Collection

Around the same time he met the well-known journalist Matsukata Saburo, the adopted son of Japan’s biggest entrepreneur, Matsukata Kojiro. Kojiro’s enormous collection of the most famous French Impressionists inspired him at least as profoundly as his impressive collection of European wines, which had so gained in value that he would never have dreamed of drinking them. Here lies the origin of Murakami’s enormous wine cellar, which has grown to take up 200 square meters under his villa. And here, too, lies the inception of his own art collection, which Murakami built up with the same entrepreneurial shrewdness as his acquisition of company stocks or wine labels.

The collection was inaugurated in 1972 with the purchase of a Beuys, at a time when Beuys had just created a sensation by quitting his teaching position at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. Ever since, at long but regular intervals, Murakami has made the rounds of the world’s galleries, investing in the most important and promising artists and in the process accumulating one of Japan’s most significant collections of international contemporary art. It is kept out of the public eye in an old, four-story factory on the outskirts of Tokyo purchased expressly for the purpose.
In the 1980s, the time of Japan’s great economic boom, Murakami decided to make his country the gift of a museum that would bear his name and make his collection available to all.

However, when a journalist revealed his Korean descent, the ensuing scandal made it unthinkable for his name to be associated with a public museum. In this difficult time he received a great deal of support from the Matsukata family. To this day, however, the collection has remained hidden to the eyes of art connoisseurs. Murakami is the only art patron who supports Japanese artists of non-homogeneous descent. Today he lives a reclusive existence, shunning the public eye.

If we are able to show this unique selection from his impressive collection today, it is thanks to Noam Braslavsky’s chance encounter with Murakami while fishing in the Sea of Japan. Asked by Braslavsky what art means for him, the collector replied: “Art excites me like the act of hooking an especially tasty, rare, big shark which has just swallowed the safe along with the Russian smuggler boat.”

The Murakami-Collection
Exhibition dates: Mai 30 – June 8, 2008
Opening: Thursday, Mai 29, 2008, 19 pm
Opening hours: Thursday and Friday 4–8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 2-6 pm
Entrance: 6 Euro, reduced: 4 Euro


Kunsthalle Faust
Harro Schmidt
Zur Bettfedernfabrik 3
30451 Hannover

Tel. 0511 / 213 48 60

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Förderer der Kunsthalle Faust

• Land Niedersachsen
• Ifa Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
• Kulturbüro der Landeshauptstadt Hannover
• Stadtsparkasse Hannover
• Sparkasse Hannover Stiftung
• Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung
• Stiftung Niedersachsen
• Stiftung Edelhof Ricklingen
• Nord LB
• Stiftung Kulturregion
• Deutsche Messe

Partner der Kunsthalle Faust

Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai
Medienhaus Hannover
Mediations Biennale Poznan

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