Earlier this year, infamous Japanese artist Takashi Murakami released his Murakami.Flowers collection. Takashi Murakami’s NFT collection features his representative artwork – flowers – expressed as dot art evocative of Japanese TV games created in the 1970s. Within this flower collection, the number 108 was incredibly significant. A combination of 108 backgrounds and flowers made a field. There are 108 fields, and each field has 108 flower images. This results in 11,664 flower NFTs in total.
Initially, Murakami planned to launch his collection on March 31, 2021. However, after only 11 days, he pulled the images from OpenSea. He revealed he was shelving the project until further notice to learn more about NFTs and the broader space first.
Following this, Takashi Murakami spent time in the NFT space learning more about the technology. This included working alongside RTFKT, the virtual fashion group, on an NFT project. The collection of 20,000 NFTs launched in December 2021. The success of this collaboration inspired Murakami to continue his project, and the artist said “I gained a lot of knowledge through the collaboration, and I am still learning a lot from them.”
After much studying and personal development, Murakami launched his flowers NFT collection in May of 2022. So, let’s take a deep dive into Murakami.Flowers and discover why Takashi Murakami created an NFT collection, what Murakami’s project has achieved, and what’s next for Murakami.Flowers?
Who is Takashi Murakami?
Takashi Murakami is a famous Japanese artist. His bright flower design blurs the lines between high and low art. Furthermore, his artwork is highly valued within art markets, with prints selling for thousands, and an original painting fetching millions at auction.
Although you may not recognize the man himself, his flowers motif is easily identifiable. Along with being an art success, these Flowers have even found its way into the fashion industry. The unique bright flowers artwork first emerged in 1995 and is now a giant fashion logo. Thus, it has had a notable effect on the industry, with Murakami working with major brands like Louis Vuitton, Vans, and Supreme, to name a few.
Now, Murakami is taking on the NFT world. Not to mention, Flowers has also taken on the music world. The motif appeared on a Kanye West album cover, Drake clothing, and a Billie Eilish video!
Why Did Takashi Murakami Make NFTs?
How Much Money Did Murakami.Flowers Make?
With incredible hype in the lead-up to the NFT release, Murakami.Flowers saw huge success during the mint period. In fact, the collection generated nearly $20 million in sales in its first week. The floor price appreciated by 3696% from the mint price.
Following this, the average price rose sharply in the first week, reaching as much as 10 ETH in May and dipping in the subsequent days to 5.18 ETH. However, now, the floor price sits at 1.18 eth. Still, despite the floor price, the trading volume remains high, with 87 ETH in sales in the last 7 days (at time of writing, October 2022).
What are Murakami.Flowers Seed NFTs??
As we know, Murakami.Flowers are digital flowers on the ETH blockchain. However, each NFT was minted as a seed prior to reveal. Following a presale for 3,000 RTFKT Clone X holders, the long-awaited, and mysterious, public sale for the Murakami Seed NFTs rolled out in early April 2022.
Of the total NFTs, 4,000 were set aside for Whitelist and friends and family. Of the remaining, 6,751 were sold through a lottery in a public sale and 727 NFTs were set aside as Lucky 727 Proof. In fact, Murakami considers 727 to be his lucky number.
“After that, there are 78 in the Zen Number Proof, and the Bonnō Proof has 108 for the number of earthly temptations,” Murakami wrote. “I intend to release these last two one day, when the time is ripe.”
So, How Many Murakami Seeds Have Become Flowers?
Today, about 9,700 Flowers Seeds have been revealed and so evolved into Murakami Flowers. Therefore, there are approximately 900 NFTs still in the ‘seed’ phase. Interestingly, while the floor price for Flowers is 1.18ETH, the floor price for Seeds is 1.69 ETH. 100% of Seeds are listed, and trading volume in the last 7 days alone is over 30 ETH.
The Murakami.Flowers Roadmap
Murakami.Flowers released its plans for post-launch support on its official website. Whereas traditionally, NFT projects have a ‘Roadmap’, Murakami has a ‘Mind Map’. This Mind Map is divided into six focuses: Vision and Values, Community, Metaverse, A Bridge Between, Ecosystem, and Physical World. In the words of Murakami, the goal of the collection is to bridge the traditional art community and the new NFT digital art community. He aims for his art to stand the test of time and survive for the next 100 years.
Murakami’s vision for a metaverse takes inspiration from a scene at the foot of Japan’s sacred mountain, Fuji, with cherry blossoms in full bloom. Ultimately, his vision is to create a virtual world where Murakami Flowers will co-exist with Murakami’s other “titles and business endeavours”.
Indeed, he is already achieving some of his aims.
To start with, Murakami held an exhibition in May, 2022 at Gagosian at their Madison Avenue location in New York. There, the artist exhibited his works created in collaboration with Clone X. In addition, he exhibited several of his real-world Murakami Flower paintings as well, fulfilling his goal of bringing Murakami Flowers to the physical world.
What’s more, in December 2022, the artist plans to release a portable game with an LCD monitor. Apart from this, he also has plans to start developing digital games. With a vision to bridge the physical and virtual world, Murakami will also hold real-life art exhibitions in art venues across the globe.
Is there a Murakami Discord?
There is no Discord Server for Murakami Flowers. In fact, the collection does not even have an official Twitter account. Instead, there is a Murakami Instagram account with over 143,000 followers, and an official Twitter account for artist Taskashi Murakami.
The ‘Lucky Cat Coin Bank’ Airdrop
In early June 2022, Murakami Flowers announced an airdrop for all Flower NFT collection holders. Each Flower NFT received one airdrop. However, only those who had revealed their flowers were eligible for the airdrop. Then, Flower NFT holders were airdropped ‘The Lucky Cat Coin Bank’.
We don’t yet know what the utility behind the Lucky Cat is. The OpenSea NFT description reads:
‘This is an image of a Lucky Cat. The left paw beckons people and the right paw beckons money. This time, the cat is holding up the left paw to wave people in. Apparently, to gather people means to summon good luck. Please stay tuned to find out what kind of story will develop from the coin bank in the shape of a Lucky Cat.’
Despite it’s unknown usage, the Lucky Cat Coin Bank is clearly highly sought-after, with a floor price of 0.17 ETH, and 1475 ETH in trade volume. It will be interesting to see what role the cat will play in Murakami’s mysterious metaverse.
Furthermore, Murakami.Flowers holders received another airdrop in September of 2022. The airdropped NFTs – named GEISA #21, commemorate the artist incubation event of the same name, which took place on Sunday, August 21, 2022 at Tokyo Big Sight. In keeping with the 108 theme, the backgrounds come in 108 different colors, and for each color there are numbers #001-#108 and images assigned, resulting in 11,664 unique NFTs total.
However, in comparison to the Lucky Cat Coin Bank, the GEISA #21 NFT is much less popular. The floor price currently sits at 0.008 ETH, with a total trade volume of 13 ETH.
Final Thoughts: What Happened to Murakami.Flowers NFT?
Unfortunately, even Murakami is not safe from the bear market.
On June 8, Murakami sent an apology on his Twitter: “Dear holders of Murakami.Flowers, I appreciate your continuing patronage, although the project’s floor price and transaction prices remain stagnant. I am very sorry.”
When Murakami made this apology, the floor price was sitting at 4ETH. Since then, the floor price had a couple more peaks and at one point reached 6 ETH. However, since September, floor has not been above 2 ETH. Now, in October of 2022, floor is 1.17 ETH – less than a third of what it was when Murakami issued the apology.
Why have the Murakami.Flowers dropped in value? Well, despite a lot of hype, with none of the usual NFT social channels and no line of direct communication for the community, mentions of the project on Twitter have faded away.
However, there is still hope for the collection. Murakami’s track record speaks for itself – as an artist, he is renowned for his work, and just one of his artworks (The Lonesome Cowboy) sold for more than $15 million at Sotheby’s in 2008. With such monumental success in the traditional art world, it is hard to believe that Takashi Murakami’s NFT project will be anything but a success.