What is Murakami Flowers?

Updated: Jun 30

Murakami Flowers is Takashi Murakami's first independent NFT project. Initially planned to release in 2021, Murakami pushed back the launch of his Murakami Flowers collection until after his collaboration with RTFKT on Clone X. After finishing the collab with RTFKT, Murakami is back focused on his original project - now equipped with experience from working alongside one of the most successful NFT projects to date.


Takashi Murakami is regarded as one of the most famous artists alive, often referred to as the Andy Warhol of Japan. "Murakami Flowers" are one of the most common motifs that Murakami uses in his works. The NFT collection turns his signature flower design into thousands of different pixelated forms.


Murakami Flower NFT stats

  • Total supply: 11,664

  • Whitelist Presale: 0.0727 ETH

  • Public Sale: 0.108 ETH


Interesting Features

  • Gaming

  • Personal touch


Gaming

Murakami plans to start releasing online and digital games. Not much information has been released regarding the gaming aspect of this project other than a teaser of a handheld game device in the shape of a Murakami Flower as seen below.

The caption of the Instagram post that leaked this image provides additional clarity about what to expect from the game, including a mention of the person developing it.

It's possible changes have been made to the game since Murakami's IG post (December 2021) so I would take this caption with a grain of salt. It's currently "summer of next year" and there still hasn't been an announcement of the game's official launch date.


Personal Touch

A unique aspect of the art for this project is that each flower is "individually hand-generated." This makes me assume that Takashi constructed all 11,664 flowers individually rather than letting the blockchain randomly assemble each trait.


This project also includes a mechanism that I haven't seen implemented in any other NFT collection. The following text snippet can be found in the Metaverse section of the Murakami Flower homepage:


"Normally, 60 years old may indicate you are in the final stage of life, but as I said earlier, my artworks are designed so that their mechanism would start working after my death. So this is truly the start line for me."


I'm not sure what "mechanism that would start working after my death" is supposed to mean since no NFT project has attempted anything like this but it sure sounds intriguing. Definitely something worth keeping in mind if you're planning to take a long-term investment in the flowers.


Lucky Cat Coin Bank

Murakami Flower holders received an airdrop on June 13th called Lucky Cat Coin Bank. These Coin Banks act as a mint pass for Murakami's next collection.


These banks can be found in 9 different color variations:


LCCB's OpenSea banner includes images of what could possibly be the revealed forms of the mint passes.

Based on the images above we can speculate on a few different aspects of what the next NFT's traits might be:

  • Eyes

  • Mouth

  • Size

  • Arm placement/Pose

  • Gold fur?


The eyes and mouths look like they come directly from the Murakami Flowers collection. If the Cats are anything like their predecessor we should probably expect a variety of different 1/1s to be included in the collection as well.


The utility of the Lucky Cats beyond being a mint pass is still unknown.


On the flipside, it's possible LCCB produces coins rather than cats. Murakami recently leaked an image (pictured below) of the coins leading up to the next drop.


Paper's Analysis

Disclaimer: I've put a decent chunk of money into this project and am out of my element since this isn't a utility NFT play. I like to use bear markets for learning new things and I've decided it's time to learn how to be "in it for the art". After speaking with people from the art world and attempting to piece together what makes things valuable, it mostly seems to boil down to the artist and their story.


I'll skip all the details about Murakami's life for you all to DYOR if that's your thing but long story short, I'm a Murakami fan.


Most of Murakami's physical art pieces (prints, paintings, etc.) sell for thousands of dollars at the bare minimum. I'm not just talking about 1 of 1s, even limited-run prints of Murakami's sell upwards of a few thousand dollars.


"Traditional art" doesn't live on the blockchain and cannot be retroactively rewarded. With this in mind, my bet on Murakami Flowers lays with the idea that Takashi's pieces are likely to receive future drops that will be valued highly due to being attached to his name.


So far this thesis is partially true with the airdrop of Lucky Cats (received 3 for free), however it's still TBD what will happen to the long-term value of these NFTs. I also added 4 additional Lucky Cats to my holdings because gambling for 1/1 NFTs designed by Murakami has insane upside that I'm trying to capitalize on.


As stated earlier, Murakami worked closely with RTFKT on Clone X. During that time he was able to witness RTFKT's successful strategy of airdropping consistent value to their community. This makes me wonder if Murakami will attempt to follow a similar strategy as Clone X with his own collection. Based on the Tweet below it seems like one of his missions is to keep the floor price high on his Murakami Flowers collection.


One of the unforeseen cool aspects of this project is the hand-assembly of each Murakami Flower. If true, that's A LOT of work for just one person. It probably doesn't add any value in terms of price but it's really cool knowing Murakami specifically pieced together each flower I own.


Technically this makes all Murakami Flowers 1/1 pieces. 😏


The main downside of this project is that Murakami isn't a web3 native person. His love for NFTs is apparent and I don't doubt that he understands the value of them, but I don't think he has shifted to the full web3 mentality just yet. He's an artist first and foremost, not a project manager/marketer. This could pose a difficult task for him generating and maintaining hype for this project unless he hires a more structured social media team to run it. Thankfully due to his name brand, there is a strong community of collectors and large market for his art.


Murakami Flower holders do not receive any sort of IP rights. This is pretty understandable considering these flowers are Murakami's signature creation he's been using for decades. I'd imagine there are probably some legal headaches he's trying to avoid. Maybe IP gets released to all holders after Murakami's death? Just speculation. It would be cool though.


It's hard to pinpoint exactly where to place your money during this bear market since pretty much every sector is taking a hit. My personal reasoning for focusing on the "art" is that I believe culture can be a powerful store of value when everything else turns to shit. There aren't many established artists that have made the transition to Web3 but I think Murakami will be one of the first massive crossover success stories. That being said, I'm high on this project because of the large collector market and Murakami's connection to the RTFKT team. I like to think if Murakami needs a hand with anything he can reach out to them anytime and they'd be more than happy to help him brainstorm quality ways of satisfying the community.


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