I Don’t Apply The Word “Art” to Something Not Conceptual

Fine Art is all very fine

Watching movement of contemporary art, especially of Japan like Takashi Murakami, Makoto Aida or Akira Yamaguchi, I always have a feeling like what I used to feel when I listened Yellow Magic Orchestra at the first time, 30 years ago.
I’m so happy that these artists from Japan are welcomed in the world not because of exoticism. Their works are appreciated on their conceptual level not just on their artfulness.
On the other hand, I have heard that an old man watching Makoto Aida’s work in a museum and said “This is not art!”.
(I have another experience to to hear an old man’s saying “This is not art!” in front of the famous lavatory basin by Marcel Duchamp.)
Yes, Makoto Aida is Duchamp!
A feminist group boycotted his recent exhibition at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. They advocated that some works exhibited in the exhibition are child porn not art. No, no, no…. They don’t understand the essence of those works at all.
Although I’d decline to comment on the explication of those works here, the feminist group at least don’t see those works and never try to read its concept deeply.
Another museum in Tokyo, there were some exhibitions of impressionist art, renaissance or some very fine art. Yes, they are all very fine, I don’t insult those fine art, I never go to those exhibitions though. Local news told that those museums were very busy with seethed mass every day. impressionist art is very popular here in Japan.
I think it’s meaningful enough to watch those fine art to trace back history. However, the background of those art works are quite different from context of contemporary art. In addition, we Japanese don’t share the cultural background with those works and most of those seethed mass may not understand that well. In other words, what those works tried to draw have no ties to what we are facing today. To the audience, i.e. seethed mass, they are fine. OK, they are all very fine. All they were able to do was just appreciate their artfulness, not concept. OK, they are all very fine.

Worships to artfulness is not just about historical art

Even in art scene today, some artists are seeking artfulness. Most of computer graphics artists are trying to create some ‘awesome’ works that make audience say “Wow!”.
But so what?
Has realistic 3D CG given us anything that we were inspired expect its artfulness? Has any oil painting artist that has very fine painting skill given any new concept to contemporary art schene? Has any 3D movie given us a new concept to us expecting “wow!” on its technology? Nope, they are just good craftsmen or just ostentations of technology.
All artists working in our age should be conceptual. Further more, those concept should be quite new that we’ve never seen before. Artfulness itself has no relation to art.
The works of the artists as I mentioned in the opening sentence are not only artfulness enough, but they are also conceptual. Some works are poor on their artfulness though. But of course those poor on artfulness works are poor on purpose. And they are still conceptual. As for the works of Marcel Duchamp, who may be original of conceptual art, they are extremely done away with artfulness, especially ready-made art works.


Getting back to Minnerasia. It was not so difficult for me to design Asias as 3D, but I have chosen 2D because I thought the point was not at artfulness but concept. With awesome graphic, the concept might blur and that was not what I intended. If Minnerasia were art, it must be conceptual art. And I don’t apply the word “Art” to something not conceptual.

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