Amid the ongoing protests and marches following the brutal murder of George Floyd by police, Japanese artists in Japan and abroad are showing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the form of diverse artworks. The original works areintended to stir up support, as well as raise funds with proceeds going directly towards organizations working towards justice.
Internationally acclaimed artist Takashi Murakami has created 6 limited-edition print series inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and his iconic flower and skull designs. The six pieces, which will be limited to 300 editions each, will be sold through NTWRK in the coming weeks. “I am in discussion with [the e-commerce platform] to arrange for 100% of the sales to go to various organizations dedicated to changing the systems oppressing the black community,” said Murakami.
Although pricing has yet to be revealed, the prints are expected to generate over $1 million for the organizations.
Currently based in NYC, artist Meguru Yamaguchi has created a new artwork titled “Revisualize No.1”. The acrylic paint and plywood sculpture will be on auction through June 18, 2020 with all proceeds going to NAACP. You can bid on the artwork through ebay.
“I always aim to break the square canvas across my works, to go against what is traditional,” says the artist. “This work, for me, reflects a breakthrough for justice that is desperately needed for Black people facing racism, police brutality, and government misconduct.”
NYC-based artist and creative director Sho Shibuya has created this simple, poignant and beautiful artwork on the cover of the New York Times in support of Black Lives Matter.
His subsequent “sunrise” series in which he hand-paint the gradations of that day’s sunrise on the cover of that day’s NYT cover is also highly poetic and uplifting.
NYC-based artist Shinji Murakami has been using his iconic pixel style to create artworks in memory of George Floyd but also in support of racial justice and civil rights.
The LA-based Japanese skateboarder and artist Haroshi creates mosaic sculptures out of recycled skateboard decks. One of his motifs, a giant middle finger, has stood inside the LA store HUF as a symbol of “fuck you to oppressors, to injustice, to violence, to racism, to authority, to inequality, and to anyone or anything working to divide or abuse our community.”
Sadly, the store was looted during the recent protests and the sculpture was damaged with the middle finger breaking off. But quickly overcoming sadness, Haroshi realized that the damaged work had now taken on an entirely new meaning of unity and justice. He used that image to create customized t-shirts and a skate board. The “Justice tee” is available for purchase. Bidding has ended on the skateboard with the final bid at over $25,100. One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.