Got the news from Emi Kuraya's Instagram in March that the Japanese artist OB is going to hold his solo exhibition. I am going to take this good chance to see if I could purchase one of OB's artworks, by using the most straightforward way through Instagram direct message, asking for the price and the way of purchasing the artwork, but obviously, what I got was a zero response. That's understandable, as OB is the artist of KaiKai KiKi, it wouldn't be that easy to get a response; so, I took the next step, made inquiry through the official website, but still. The cold never bothers me anyway, even though there is only 1/1000 possibility, what I did next is to ask my Japanese friend for help, visiting the exhibition in person, however, it took me weeks…

Fill the form out, just to put an end to the speculator?

My friend asked the staff in the exhibition after he found the ‘targeted artwork’, unfortunately, asked one and others, they all acted so chill. After a thousand attempts, he was finally told to fill in a form with his inquiries and contact details, it will be passed to the office. The staff claims that the act of filling the form is to avoid those speculators. It's finally in progress, how lucky! So then, all you need to do after filling the form is to-WAIT.

My friend recalled his tangled experience, ‘Still, there was zero call or responses even after the exhibition’, so I tried to contact the staff. The first time I called, the staff claimed that the in-charge was working outside so they would contact me later. After a few days, the response I got was ‘processing’, nothing can be done but only WAIT.’  With the never give up attitude, my friend finally got a reply from the staff, ‘The artwork you asked for has been sold already, sorry about that.’ What?! After three weeks of patience, non-stop asking and waiting, this was what we got?! Who would buy the artwork if they didn't even know the price?

Why is it so hard to get an artwork?

Sigh! There is nothing we can do even we are so mad, not because of the artwork was sold (neither if the work was really sold), but why can't we even know the price of the artwork? Articks truly understands the art market is such a small circle, everyone has the right to choose whom to deal with, and even the price is not disclose for everyone. This is not because of avoiding speculators, but because the price varies for different collectors. Even VIPs may get that no transparency price list, who cares about normal customers?

Feel free to share if you also got the similar ‘tragedy’ of purchasing artwork from KaiKai KiKi or some other terrible experiences as well, tell us ‘we are not alone’. Please also share with us if there is a case of success, I would be really, really grateful, I believe that would help and mean a lot to our readers and… me! 

If you have the same experience as mine,‘RIP'.

#TakashiMurakami #KaiKaiKiKi #OB #artmarket

Photo credit: Kaikai Kiki Gallery

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